The Malaysian High Court today dismissed the Malaysian Government’s application to transfer a criminal trial involving a Sri Lankan envoy from the Sepang court to Kuala Lumpur on security grounds, the Free Malaysia website reported.
Justice Nordin Hassan said the grounds raised in the application pertained to law and order.
“The applicant and the witness could complain to the trial judge and law enforcement agency if they are unhappy about a crowd outside the Sepang court,” he said.
Nordin said the same crowd could be in Kuala Lumpur if the trial venue were to be shifted.
“This is not a good reason to transfer the case from Sepang,” he said.
Last September, three men were charged with rioting and assaulting ambassador Ibrahim Sahib Ansar at the KLIA airport.
The unprecedented application was filed in January by the public prosecutor, with Ibrahim filing an affidavit in support of moving the court.
The application was made under Section 417 (d) of the Criminal Procedure Code for the High Court to grant an order for the general convenience of a witness.
Ibrahim said he believed that his safety was not guaranteed if he were to attend the trial in the Sepang Sessions Court as witness because large groups of Tamils had gathered there during the last two case managements.
He said he was still traumatised by the brutal Sept 4 attack on him at KLIA, a public area which should have tight security measures.
“I fear for my safety and security if the trial is to be continued in Sepang,” he said in the affidavit, adding that he had lodged a police report to express his concern.
He said he felt safer to have the trial heard in Kuala Lumpur as security measures there were tighter and better.
Ibrahim said Tamil groups had attempted to harm the staff of the Sri Lankan High Commission and a former prime minister at a Buddhist temple during his visit to Malaysia.
Lawyer M Manoharan, who is appearing for the accused – A Kalaimughilan, V Balamurugan and V Ragunathan – said today the case would be mentioned before the trial judge on May 3.
“We will officially inform the judge of today’s ruling to fix the trial dates,” he said. (Colombo Gazette)