‘Ar­rest war­rant needed’

> IGP’s stand con­tra­dicts law, say le­gal ex­perts

The Sun (Malaysia) - - NEWS WITHOUT BORDERS - BY TI­MOTHY ACHARIAM

PETALING JAYA: The law states that the po­lice will need to ob­tain a war­rant when an ar­rest is made un­der the Malaysian Com­mu­ni­ca­tions and Mul­ti­me­dia (MCMC) Act 1998, ac­cord­ing to le­gal ex­perts and in­ter­preters of the law.

This con­tra­dicts the stand of In­spec­tor-Gen­eral of Po­lice Tan Seri Khalid Abu Bakar re­cently that ob­tain­ing a war­rant was not nec­es­sary in the case of the ar­rest of for­mer jour­nal­ist Sidek Kamiso, who was ar­rested at his home in Petaling Jaya on Mon­day.

“Ba­si­cally, it’s not cor­rect, the law clearly states that the po­lice need a war­rant for ar­rest,” said prom­i­nent civil rights lawyer Syahredzan Jo­han.

“The Act states that an in­ves­ti­ga­tion needs to be car­ried out by an of­fi­cer in the Mul­ti­me­dia and Com­mu­ni­ca­tions Com­mis­sion who then hands over his find­ings to the po­lice,” said Syahredzan.

The Sec­tion reads: “A po­lice of­fi­cer may, by war­rant, ar­rest a per­son who may have com­mit­ted an of­fence un­der this Act or its sub­sidiary leg­is­la­tion.”

Syahrezan said the in­ter­pre­ta­tion of the law is very clear, the po­lice need to ob­tain a war­rant be­fore they ar­rest some­one un­der the Act.

He did, how­ever, say that Sec­tion 248 of the Act does al­low for search and seizure of items in a per­son’s house­hold with­out a war­rant.

“The ar­rest was un­law­ful and they could face a civil suit if the per­son ar­rested wants to pur­sue it,” he told theSun.

Lawyer Siti Kasim said the po­lice had erred in their in­ter­pre­ta­tion of the law and ar­rest of Sidek.

“Sec­tion 248 only refers to search and seizures and not ar­rests, but they can how­ever, with­out war­rant en­ter a premises to se­cure ev­i­dence in the course of their in­ves­ti­ga­tions if they can jus­tify that ev­i­dence will be de­stroyed.”

She added that ar­rests can only be made after a war­rant has been ob­tained un­der Sec­tion 258.

Sidek was ar­rested over a tweet on the death of PAS spir­i­tual leader Da­tok Dr Haron Din and taken to Johor for ques­tion­ing, after po­lice re­ports were lodged against him.

His wife Nor­lin Musa had com­plained that the po­lice had en­tered her home at 4.30am to ar­rest him with­out any war­rant or ex­pla­na­tion.

Mean­while, for­mer law min­is­ter Datuk Zaid Ibrahim yes­ter­day crit­i­cised the na­ture of Sidek’s ar­rest, say­ing he was be­ing treated like a ji­hadist from the Is­lamic State and that it was “al­most like a spe­cial oper­a­tion by the po­lice”.

“The ar­rest was made at 4.30am and he was brought to Johor to be re­manded. No war­rant was is­sued, like it was an ar­restable (se­ri­ous) of­fence.”

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