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Habeas corpus bid - DAP lawmakers, three others say LTTE defunct since 2009

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Two DAP lawmakers and three other individuals have denied any links with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) including supporting or funding the now-defunct Sri Lankan terrorist outfit.

The five also said their arrests and detentions under the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012 (Sosma) were unlawful.

The five are DAP’s Seremban Jaya assemblyperson P Gunasekaran and Gadek assemblyperson G Saminathan, DAP members V Suresh Kumar and S Chandru plus another individual identified as S Arivainthan.

On Monday, the five filed a habeas corpus application to challenge their detentions under Sosma. A habeas corpus requires a person under arrest to be brought before a judge or court in a bid to secure the person's release.

"I (we) deny any involvement and link with the LTTE," they said in separate affidavits-in-support filed on Oct 21.

"I (we) believe that the group had ceased operation since 2009 and had been removed from the EU's terrorism list," they said.

"It is impossible for me (us) to support the LTTE now. As such, there is no need for the Home Ministry and the government to keep the LTTE group on their terrorism list," they said.

They also placed the burden of proof on their links to the LTTE and that the LTTE was still an organised terrorist group on the government. They also denied that they attempted to revive the LTTE.

"(However), this is not a security offence as any attempt to revive the LTTE will affect Sri Lanka, not Malaysia," added the five who are being detained at the Batu Detention Centre in Kuala Lumpur.

"I (we) believe that our detention by the respondents is against the principle of equality before the law as stipulated under the Federal Constitution," they said, adding that they had been wrongfully detained.

"It is an illegitimate (detention) and not done according to the provision of laws," they said.

The LTTE logo.

According to them, they were only allowed access to legal aid four to six days after their arrests and they were not told immediately of the exact reasons of their arrests.

Some of their houses and offices were also raided and yet they had no idea what items had been seized, they said.

Special Branch Counter-Terrorism Division (E8) principal assistant director Ayob Khan Mydin Pitchay, Inspector Muhammad Safwan Muhammad Ismail and the inspector-general of police were named as respondents by the five together with the Home Ministry and the government.

During the first series of raids on Oct 10, police arrested seven suspects with alleged links to the terrorist organisation in Malacca, Negeri Sembilan, Selangor, Kuala Lumpur, Perak and Kedah.

These included the state assemblypersons.

The second series of raids in Selangor, Malacca and Penang saw another five nabbed on Oct 12.

The Kuala Lumpur High Court today set Oct 31 to hear the habeas corpus application by the five.

"The hearing date is set for next Thursday," said DAP Legal Bureau chairperson Ramkarpal Singh, who represented all the five suspects.

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