AG: Khairuddin, Matthias Chang Charged Under Penal Code, Not SOSMA

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PUTRAJAYA, Oct 15 – Attorney-General Tan Sri Mohamed Apandi Ali on Tuesday clarified that Datuk Seri Khairuddin Abu Hassan and his lawyer Matthias Chang Wen Chieh were charged under the Penal Code and not the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012 (SOSMA).

The duo were charged under Section 124L of the Penal Code for allegedly attempting to sabotage Malaysia’s banking and financial system. At a press conference at the Attorney-General’s Chambers (AGC) here to clarify the provisions of the law applied in the Khairuddin and Chang cases, Mohamed Apandi explained that SOSMA was a procedural law that provided special measures to facilitate the investigation and prosecution of ‘security offences’.

“The definition of ‘security offences’ makes it clear that the SOSMA is not limited to terrorism or terrorists. The ‘security offences’ to which the Act applies were those listed in the First Schedule to the SOSMA. When SOSMA was enacted, the listed ‘security offences’ were offences under Chapter VI of the Penal Code (offences against the state) and Chapter VIA of the Penal Code (Offences relating to Terrorism),” he said.

“In 2014, the list was extended to include Chapter VIB of the Penal Code (Organised Crime) as well as offences under Part IIIA of the Anti-Trafficking in Persons and Anti-Smuggling of Migrants Act 2007. The list was further extended in June 2015 to include the Special Measures Against Terrorism in Foreign Countries Act 2015,” he added.

In addition, Mohamed Apandi said that the Section 124L of the Penal Code was an offence Under Chapter VI of the Penal Code. He said it was one of seven new offences introduced into Chapter VI of the Penal Code in 2011 through the Penal Code (Amendment) Act 2012. He also adding that it was therefore a ‘security offence’ to which SOSMA applies.

The seven new offences were activities detrimental to parliamentary democracy (section 124B), attempt to commit activity detrimental to parliamentary democracy (section 124C), dissemination of information (section 124H), sabotage (124K), attempt to commit sabotage (section 124L), espionage (section 124M) and attempt to commit espionage (section 124N), he explained.

“These offences were in addition to the re-enactment with modifications of certain offences which used to be in the Internal Security Act 1960, namely the new sections 124D, 124E, 124F, 124G, 124I and 124J. The explanation can be seen in the Explanatory Statement to the Penal Code (Amendment) Bill 2012,” he added.

In the same time, Mohamad Apandi also said that the Section 124L of the Penal Code provides that “whoever attempts to commit sabotage or does any act preparatory there to shall be punished with the imprisonment for a term which may extend to fifteen years”. 

In this regard, he said Section 130A of the Penal Code defines the term “sabotage” to mean an act or omission intending to cause harm, among others, to the maintenance of “essential services” while the term “essential services” was defined to include banking and financial services.

Mohamed Apandi said the clarification on the provisions of law applied in the case of Khairuddin and Chang was to prevent any further misleading statements. However, he said that the AGC was not at liberty to divulge any facts pertaining to their cases as the matter was pending before the court.

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