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Raja Petra freed (Updated)

SHAH ALAM, 7 Nov 2008: The High Court here today released Raja Petra Kamarudin, the editor of web portal Malaysia Today, from detention under the Internal Security Act (ISA) after allowing his application for a writ of habeas corpus.

Justice Datuk Syed Ahmad Helmy Syed Ahmad held that the grounds for his detention by Home Minister Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar under Section 8 of the ISA did not come within the scope of that section.

He then ordered that Raja Petra, 58, who has been held at the Kamunting detention camp in Taiping, Perak, since 12 Sept 2008, be brought before the court at 4pm for his release.

Raja Petra had applied for the writ of habeas corpus seeking his release on the grounds that his detention under the ISA was unlawful and unconstitutional. He named Syed Hamid as respondent.

Syed Hamid had said Raja Petra had to be arrested under the ISA because his articles on Malaysia Today ridiculed Islam and could anger Muslims.

Section 8 of the ISA spells out the home minister’s powers in ordering a person’s detention or restriction.

Raja Petra’s wife, [email protected] Lee, and their two daughters, Suraya, 34, and Sarah, 19, and other family members cried and hugged each other after the judgment was delivered.

His supporters in the gallery clapped and cheered.

Raja Petra was represented by counsel Malik Imtiaz Sarwar, Ashok Kandiah and Azhar Azizan Harun, while senior federal counsel Abdul Wahab Mohamad appeared for the prosecution.

Raja Petra was detained on the same day as Seputeh Member of Parliament Teresa Kok and Sin Chew Daily journalist Tan Hoon Cheng who were both also arrested under the ISA. Both were released earlier following protests by civil society and politicians. — Bernama

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