PUTRAJAYA: A team of lawyers, in an unprecedented move, filed a writ of habeas corpus on behalf of the Sultan of Kelantan to immediately "free" him from the Universiti Sains Malaysia Hospital where he is currently warded.
The Special Court will hear the application on Monday, said one of the lawyers, Gobind Singh Deo.
Sultan Ismail Petra is heavily guarded at the hospital’s Royal Ward in Kubang Kerian, Kelantan, where he has been admitted since Tuesday.
The writ, which was filed at the Special Court in Putrajaya, was supported by an affidavit by the Sultan’s third son, Tengku Temenggong Tengku Muhammad Fakhry Petra.
The writ named the Sultan as the applicant and lists five respondents - the Kelantan Chief of Police, the Inspector-General of Police, the hospital’s director-general, the Health Ministry’s director-general and the Federal Government.
A team of six lawyers, headed by Raja Aziz Addruse, believed that the Sultan was being held in the hospital against his will and should be released immediately.
"The application for a writ of habeas corpus is to have the Special Court order the release of the Sultan (from hospital).
"We take the view that the Sultan is in hospital under restraint. That why we are seeking his release," Raja Aziz said at a press conference here.
Gobind said they were not allowed to meet the Sultan although he was conscious and alert.
"We tried to see him on May 5 (Wednesday) in hospital but were told that we were not allowed to see him," Gobind said.
In a previous report, police said the Acting Sultan, Tengku Muhammad Faris Petra, had asked them to provide security for the Sultan for his safety.
The Kelantan Deputy Chief Police Officer Senior Asst Comm (II) Datuk Amir Hamzah Ibrahim had said that Tengku Muhammad Faris had issued a decree that his father be moved to a safer place following the arrest of a palace official over the shooting of a palace guard last week.
In a twist to events, Tengku Muhammad Fakhry claimed his parents' cars were ambushed on Tuesday by about 30 men in balaclavas and armed with machine guns.
He also claimed that weapons were pointed at the head of the Sultan's driver who, he alleged, was then forcibly dragged out of the vehicle.
Weapons were also pointed at the Raja Perempuan Tengku Anis Tengku Hamid and other passengers in the cars who were forcibly removed from the vehicles, he claimed in his affidavit supporting the habeas corpus application.
"When the Raja Perempuan refused to leave His Royal Highness alone in the car, some of the armed men attempted to remove her from the car but she refused to budge," he claimed.
His affidavit, which he said he was making on behalf of his father, explained in detail the events of Tuesday, when his parents and their entourage were on the way to the airport to head to Singapore for the Sultan's follow-up treatment.
Tengku Muhammad Fakhry said one of the armed men then drove his parents to the hospital.
Relating information provided by the Raja Perempuan, Tengku Muhammad Fakhry said his father was terrified and refused to be driven by the armed men.
"His Royal Highness did not, at any time, agree to be brought to the hospital. He was and is extremely upset with the actions taken by these armed men," he said in the 15-page affidavit.
He also said that the Raja Perempuan was prevented from following her husband into the hospital elevator and room but managed to get in eventually.
In the affidavit, Tengku Muhammad Fakhry said his father had told his mother and policemen present that he did not want to stay in the hospital and wanted to return to the palace.
He also expressed concern over his father’s health, stating that irreversible damage could occur to the Sultan's health if he was not immediately allowed to continue treatment in Singapore.
Meanwhile, in Kota Baru, it is learnt that at least 10 doctors appointed by the Kelantan government arrived at the hospital Friday afternoon to assess the Sultan's medical condition.
The doctors arrived in five state cars at 3pm, led by the hospital's health campus director Datuk Dr Mafauzy Mohamed.
Kelantan Palace comptroller Datuk Abdul Halim Hamad said the doctors would conduct a detailed examination on the Sultan to determine his condition.
He added that the specialists would stay at the hospital throughout the examination but could not determine the duration.
"After the report is completed, it will be presented to Acting Sultan Tengku Muhammad Faris Petra for his perusal," he said.
Dr Mafauzy, when met outside the hospital, refused to comment on the Sultan's health.
On Nov 18 last year, Mentri Besar Datuk Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat announced the appointment of an eight-member panel of doctors to assess the Sultan's health.
The panel subsequently prepared a full medical report on Dec 24 and concluded that the Sultan's condition had improved slightly after receiving intensive treatment.
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