Forex scam probe: High Court rejects salesman's bid to challenge remand under Poca

Shanti Gunaratnam

KUALA LUMPUR: The High Court today dismissed a habeas corpus application by a Prevention of Crime Act (Poca) detainee and salesman who had been remanded for 21-days in connection with an alleged forex scam.

In striking-off the habeas corpus application and allowing a preliminary objection raised by the prosecution, Judicial Commissioner Datuk Mohamad Shariff Abu Samah said the salesman had filed the wrong mode of application to challenge his detention under Poca.

"After hearing submissions and reading the affidavit, I find the remand order granted by the magistrate's court on March 29, was done in accordance with the law and therefore allow the preliminary objections raised by the senior federal counsel."

Mohamad Shariff, however, allowed Vishnu Moorthy's wife A. Magaswarie, who is six months pregnant, and his counsel P. Uthayakumar to meet him (Vishnu) in court for one hour without the presence of the police.

Senior Federal Counsel Mohammad Al-Saifi Hashim of the Home Ministry, during submission, said that Vishnu Moorthy had submitted the wrong mode of application to challenge his detention which was made by the magistrate's court.

"The right mode of application should have been a revision of the detention order or an appeal under the Criminal Procedure Code (CPC). The court therefore should dismiss the habeas corpus application."

Vishnu Moorthy, 38, filed the application on Friday (April 14) at the Kuala Lumpur High Court registry and named Bukit Aman Commercial Crime Investigation Department (CCID) director Datuk Acryl Sani Abdullah Sani, Inspector-General of Police, Home Minister and the deputy public prosecutor as respondents.

The application was made by Magaswarie on behalf of her husband.

In the certificate of urgency, the applicant (Vishnu Moorthy) sought for his appeal case to be disposed as soon as possible contending that his detention under the Act was unlawful.

Earlier during submissions, Uthayakumar told the court that he had written five times to Acryl Sani, requesting for him to meet his client but to no avail.

"We have exhausted all avenues and that is why we have come to court to get justice for my client. My client works in the company as a salesman and he makes far less than the other six salesmen there.

"He is not a director, shareholder or even owns the company and so why detain him. The police have been investigating this case for five months, from November last year and my client had cooperated with them by giving them all the documents," said Uthayakumar.

He also said there is no reason for his client to be detained under Poca as it involves a commercial crime.

"Why go after a fly with a sledge hammer. Let's be fair to my client."

Vishnu Moorthy's 21-day remand ends on Wednesday (April 19).