SHAH ALAM: The Shah Alam High Court has fixed Sept 27 for the re-mention of the case against 38 individuals charged with being involved in gang activities, dating back three years ago.
All the accused are currently being held under the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act (Sosma) 2012, which does not qualify them for bail.
Judge Datuk Ab Karim Ab Rahman made the ruling after listening to a representation from lawyer T Harpal Singh to the Attorney-General’s Chambers to ask for a review of the charges against all the accused.
Harpal had earlier told the court that he submitted the representation on August 23.
During that proceeding, the charges under Section 130V(1) of the Penal Code were read again on all the accused, including Datuk Seri A N Bala Krishnan, 48, and Datuk S Pream Nath, 36, before a not guilty plea was recorded.
The accused were charged with being members of Geng 08 in the Petaling district, between Jan 1, 2015 and March 29, 2018.
They were charged under Section 130V(1) of the Penal Code which provides for a maximum jail term of 20 years.
The case will be heard again at the SOSMA Special Court, which will convene at the Kajang Prison on Sept 27.
Meanwhile, about 100 family members of the accused had gathered at the Shah Alam courts complex since early morning to catch a glimpse of the accused as the latter were led in to court.
On April 26, the media had reported that two men - a Datuk and a Datuk Seri - were among those charged at the Shah Alam Sessions Court with being Gang 08 members.
Deputy Public Prosecutor Faten Hadni Khairuddin appeared for the prosecution while the accused were represented by several lawyers including Harpal and Eric Paulsen.
Harpal, when met outside the courtroom, said he has already received feedback from the Attorney-General’s Chambers, which stated that it would review and issue a reply to the letter of representation submitted on Aug 23.
He was he was also made to understand that the Attorney-General’s Chambers would offer an alternative to SOSMA.
“We hope that the Attorney-General’s Chambers will amend the charges to Section 43 of the Societies Act 1966, which provides for a maximum jail term of three years, or maximum fine of RM5,000, or both,” he said.
Harpal said the Attorney-General’s Chambers has the authority to suspend the charge under Section 376 of the Criminal Procedure Code and 145 (3) of the Federal Constitution Act.
“The Attorney-General can use his power to free the accused without acquittal, until the government decides as to whether SOSMA would be abolished or reviewed.
“We are appealing to the Attorney-General to make the amendment and not an alternative (charge), so that the accused can be bailed and defend themselves in court in a full trial,” he said. © New Straits Times Press (M) Bhd