Federal Court strikes out appeal against RPK’s release

By The Malaysian Insider

PUTRAJAYA, Nov 1 — The Federal Court struck off this morning the home minister’s appeal against the release of controversial blogger Raja Petra Kamarudin, better known as RPK, under a habeas corpus application.

Raja Petra was arrested on September 12, 2008 as he was deemed a threat to national security and was ordered to be detained under the Internal Security Act (ISA) on September 22, 2008.

On November 7, 2008, the Shah Alam High Court ordered the release of Raja Petra (picture) after ruling that his two-year detention at the Kamunting detention camp in Taiping was unlawful.

This morning, the Federal Court made its ruling after it was informed that RPK’s original two-year old detention order had lapsed.

The apex court’s decision appears now to have removed the last legal hurdle to RPK’s return to Malaysia from the United Kingdom.

RPK has been in “exile” since May 2009 in the middle of sedition and criminal defamation trials and what he claimed was a second attempt to detain him under the ISA.

When the police insisted they were still trying to track his whereabouts, he came out to speak in public in May and stated that the Barisan Nasional (BN) government knew all along as he had met various Umno figures in the United Kingdom over the past year.

Raja Petra also challenged the Malaysian authorities to extradite him from the UK, claiming that unlike the judicial system in Malaysia an extradition request must be based on corresponding illegality. He has also said that his lawyers have informed Scotland Yard, headquarters of the London police, that he was available to them anytime.

In July, he had issued an open offer to Datuk Seri Najib Razak for him to return to Malaysia if the prime minister could guarantee that he would not be placed under detention without trial via the ISA “and forget another six charges I know they were preparing.”

He had promised he would return to fight the sedition and criminal defamation cases that had since been dropped (dismissals not amounting to acquittals) as Raja Petra was not present at the trials and the arrest warrants had expired.

Najib has been a prime target for Raja Petra, who has accused him of, among other things, being directly involved in the murder of Mongolian translator Altantuya Shariibuu, and a related submarine deal that French authorities are now investigating for an alleged irregularity in commission payments, said to amount to RM500 million.