Two more men accused of supporting the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) terrorist group were acquitted and discharged by two separate High Courts in Malaysia today, the Bernama news service reported.
This led to all 12 men, including two state assemblymen previously facing the same charges being freed.
High Court judges Mohamed Zaini Mazlan and Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali issued the release order after deputy public prosecutors Mohd Farhan Aliff Ahmad and Muhammad Asyraf Minhad informed them that they had received instructions from the Attorney-General to discontinue the proceedings against businessman B. Subramaniam, 58, and storekeeper S. Thanagaraj, 27.
Earlier, Mohd Farhan Aliff and Muhammad Asyraf applied to stop the proceedings against the them in accordance with Section 254 (1) of the Criminal Procedure Code and stated that there was no prospect for the charges against all the accused to be reinstated.
Lawyers S. Selvam and Gaithri Thomas representing Subramaniam and lawyer Dr N. Ahilan representing Thanagaraj, requested for their clients to be acquitted and discharged.
Judge Mohd Nazlan said both men were were acquitted and discharged under Section 254 (3) of the Criminal Procedure Code.
The duo were alleged to have supported the LTTE by using their respective Facebook accounts named ‘US SUBRA SUBRAMANIAM and and ‘Tamilarasan Sivam’ at the Bukit Aman Special Branch Counter-Terrorism Division (E8) here, between January and October last year.
They were charged under Section 130J (1) (a) of the Penal Code, which carries a life sentence or a maximum 30 years’ jail term or fine and forfeiture of any asset used or intended to be used to commit the offences, upon conviction.
Thanagaraj was also charged with two counts of possessing items with elements of terrorist acts in his cellphone at two different locations in Penang on Oct 12 last year.
He was charged under Section 130JB (1) (a) of the Penal Code, which provides for a maximum jail term of seven years or a fine and confiscation of any such property, upon conviction.
Family members of both accused were present in court.
On Monday, the High Court also acquitted and discharged Seremban Jaya assemblyman P. Gunasekaren, 61, and taxi driver V. Balamurugan, 38, on similar charges.
Yesterday, Gadek assemblyman G. Saminathan, 35, technician S. Arivainthan, 28; security guard, M. Pumugan, 30; DAP member, V. Suresh Kumar, 44; Melaka Green Technology Corporation chief executive officer, S. Chandru, 39; teacher, Sundram Renggan @ Rengasamy, 53; scrap metal collector A. Kalaimughilan, 29, and dispatch rider S. Teeran, 39, were also acquitted and discharged by the High Court on similar charges.
All of them were previously arrested under the Security Offenses (Special Measures) Act 2012 (SOSMA) and placed in Sungai Buloh Prison pending trial. Under SOSMA they are not allowed bail.
On Feb 21, Attorney-General Tan Sri Tommy Thomas decided to drop all charges against the 12 people accused of supporting the LTTE on the grounds that ‘there is no realistic prospects of conviction’ against any of them on any of the 34 charges brought against them.