Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Uthayakumar arrested, freed on bail, and rearrested

Soon Li Tsin (Malaysiakini.com)| Dec 11, 07 5:40pm

Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf) legal adviser P Uthayakumar was rearrested at the lobby of the Kuala Lumpur court house at Jalan Duta as soon as he had posted RM50,000 bail for a sedition charge which was filed against him earlier today.

Lawyer M Manoharan told Malaysiakini that Uthayakumar was being taken to the Cheras police contingent headquarters (IPK Cheras).

“The police officers said they were rearresting Uthayakumar under orders from the Inspector General of Police (Musa Hassan).

“It is most probably for another sedition charge,” he briefly said.

This morning the social activist was arrested and immediately charged with sedition at the Jalan Duta Sessions Court.

He was accused of publishing seditious material in a letter written between Nov 15 and Dec 8 and posted in the Police Watch website.

The letter, dated Nov 15, 2007, was from Hindraf and addressed to Prime Minister Gordon Brown of the United Kingdom at No. 10, Downing Street, London.

Held at Pudu

Later when contacted, Uthayakumar said that he was being detained at the Kuala Lumpur remand centre at the old Pudu jail.

“They told me that they want to take a statement from me. I was told that I would be brought to the Cheras IPK.

“However since I am here, I think I am about to be detained overnight to face fresh charge tomorrow,” he said.

He added that he was not told as to why he was arrested and but thinks he might face another sedition charge.

He also said he was unhappy with the “brute” manner the police used to arrest him, causing injury to his hand.

"I am asking them to allow me to lodge a police report against the manner they arrested me," he said, adding that he was mentally prepared to face "anything".

About 300 supporters have gathered ourside Pudu jail this evening and held a candlelight vigil. The police have not allowed lawyers to meet with Uthayakumar.

Sedition charge in Klang

This morning Uthayakumar was charged under Section 4(1)(c) of the Sedition Act 1948 which carries a maximum punishment of not exceeding RM5,000 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding three years, or to both.

The jail term will increase to a maximum period of five years for a subsequent offence.

Uthayakumar claimed trial and Sessions Judge Sabariah Othman set bail at RM50,000 with one surety, which was immediately posted by a relative of Uthayakumar.

He also faces another sedition charge in Klang over a speech made during a Hindraf gathering in Batang Berjuntai on Nov 16.

No comments: