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Court To Hear Maria Chin’s Habeas Corpus Application On Tuesday

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KUALA LUMPUR: The High Court here will hear next Tuesday a habeas corpus application by Bersih 2.0 chairman Maria Chin Abdullah (pic) who is challenging her detention under the Security Offences and Special Measures Act (Sosma) 2012.

Maria’s counsel Prof Gurdial Singh Nijar told reporters Thursday that four respondents had asked for seven days to reply to the affidavit-in-support of Maria’s son Azumin Mohamad Yunus, 23.

Gurdial said they had applied for Maria to be allowed to attend the hearing but Judicial Commissioner Nordin Hassan informed that a habeas corpus applicant normally did not come to court.

“However, we will leave it to the court’s discretion to decide whether to grant our client to be present during the hearing,” he said after meeting JC Nordin in chambers.

In her notice of motion, Maria, 60, named Supt Tham Lai Kuan of the Bukit Aman Criminal Investigation Department, Inspector-General of Police, Home Minister and the Government as the respondents.

She is seeking an order for an urgent release. Alternatively, she asked that she would be brought to court during the hearing of the application.

The Bersih 2.0 chairman is also seeking an order that she is not subjected to any restrictions under Sosma.

In the affidavit, Azumin said Maria was currently being denied legal access.

He said a police team headed by investigating officer Asst Supt Wan Aeidil Wan Abdullah went to the applicant’s office in A-2-8, Blok A, 8 Avenue commercial centre in Jalan Sungai Jernih 8/1, Petaling Jaya, on Nov 18 at about 3pm.

He said Maria was detained at her office at about 3.10pm by Supt Tham.

Azumin said the investigating officer informed the applicant and activist Mandeep Singh that both were not allowed to go out of the office.

They were told to surrender their handphones.

He said the police seized documents, computer equipment and communication gadgets.

On Nov 20 at about 1pm, he was allowed to meet her with her counsel at the Dang Wangi police district headquarters.

He said he was advised by Maria’s counsel that the detention and the use of Sosma against her was invalid, against the law and mala fide.

He said the detention under Section 124C of the Penal Code was against Article 149 of the Federal Constitution and her detention contradicted with Articles 5, 8 and 10 of the Constitution.

Maria was detained on Nov 18 in a pre-Bersih 5.0 swoop by police on several Opposition leaders and activists. She was later taken to the Dang Wangi police headquarters for a family’s visit.

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