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12 charged for ‘LTTE links’ might not get fair trial

Lawyers expressed concern that the 12 people charged for alleged ‘LTTE links’ may not get a fair trial.

Speaking to Malaysiakini, lawyer New Sin Yew said, “When someone is charged for terrorism-related offences, their criminal trial is governed by SOSMA, which is different from a normal criminal trial.’

He added that SOSMA takes away many safeguards for a fair trial under the Criminal Procedure Code and the Evidence Act, therefore favouring the prosecution.

R Sivananthan, another lawyer said that in during the trial, a witness will be able to give hearsay evidence in court which is admissible under the (existing) SOSMA Act,” he said. Hearsay evidence means “a report of another person’s words by a witness,’ Malaysiakini reported.

Malaysian security forces arrested 12 men last month, including two Democratic Action Party (DAP) assemblymen, claiming that they were linked to the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), which remains a proscribed organisation in the country.

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