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KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 18, 2015:Former Batu Kawan Umno deputy chief Datuk Seri Khairuddin Abu Hassan and lawyer Matthias Chang have been released on RM10,000 bail each in one surety this morning. The decision was delivered by High Court judge Datuk Azman Husin after ruling that the charge against the duo over an attempt to commit sabotage against the country’s banking and financial services does not fall under the ambit of Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012 (Sosma). Two weeks ago, Azman heard a lengthy submission over the three constitutional questions posed by the duo’s lawyers, Haniff Khatri Abdulla and Zainur Zakaria, among others, whether the charge against the duo under Section 124 (L) of the Penal Code, falls outside Sosma in pursuant to the provision of Article 149 (1) of the Federal Constitution (FC). Azman said it was affirmative to the first question posed and, therefore, granted bail to the accused. At this juncture, Khairuddin stood up and turned around to face his family and supporters seated at the dock as the group applauded to the decision. Azman said when the Parliament enacted the Act (Federal Constitution), it was never intended for such action (for banking and financial services to be tried under Sosma). Deputy public prosecutors Mohd Masri Daud and Abazafree Abbas then proposed RM10,000 bail each in one surety. The judge agreed to the bail amount and imposed an additional condition to have their passports surrendered to the court. The case has been fixed for a re-mention on Jan 12 next year. After the proceedings adjourned, Khairuddin and Chang were seen hugging their family members, though the DPP told reporters later that they would most probably file an appeal over the decision today. During the proceedings this morning, apart from the duo’s family and friends, former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad together with his wife Tun Dr Siti Hasmah Mohamad Ali as well as former Umno secretary-general Tan Sri Janusi Junid, were also present at the Kuala Lumpur High Court. Dr Mahathir, who shook hands with the duo at the dock, later expressed gratitude over the decision outside the courtroom. “I am glad justice has been done. I have always thought that there was no case under that law. “Now the judge has said so and I hope that this will always be the stand of the judges; that they are neutral and that they will go according to the law. “It has increased the confidence of the people in the judiciary and I hope this will always be so.” Khairuddin was arrested under Sosma on Sept 23 while his lawyer Chang was later detained on Oct 8 after visiting the former at Dang Wangi police station. Subsequently, the duo were charged on Oct 12 at the Magistrate’s Court under Section 124 (L) of the Penal Code, read together with Section 34 of the same Act. They allegedly attempted to commit sabotage against the country’s banking and financial service between June 28 and Aug 26 this year in several locations including police stations in Paris, Switzerland, Hong Kong, London and Singapore. The offence carries a maximum jail sentence of 15 years, upon conviction.

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