Two law firms deny hiring thugs in temple riot case


  • Nation
  • Wednesday, 28 Nov 2018

Police deal with the aftermath of the riots at the Seafield temple. - Photo: SAMUEL ONG / The Star

KUALA LUMPUR (Bernama): Legal firm Skrine has denied that its lawyers were involved in the hiring of thugs that led to the riots near a Hindu temple in Selangor early Monday (Nov 26) and Tuesday (Nov 27).

The firm's partner, Khoo Guan Huat, said in a statement that none of the firm's lawyers have been arrested by the police and the firm has no knowledge, whatsoever, of the alleged hiring of thugs.

He said the firm condemns in the strongest terms any such action.

Home Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said on Wednesday (Nov 28) that two lawyers of the developer, One City Development Sdn Bhd, had hired thugs to occupy the Sri Maha Mariamman Temple in USJ 25, Putra Heights, and they had intruded into the temple, sparking the riots.

Muhyiddin also said that the lawyers were among the 21 people arrested by the police.

Khoo said on Wednesday Skrine is currently acting for the developer in civil proceedings involving possession of the land on which the temple is located but “we categorically state that we are not the lawyers referred to by the Home Minister".

He said all steps taken by the legal firm as the solicitors for the developer have been and will continue to be strictly in accordance with the law.

Another law firm, Messrs Thomas Philip, said the company is no longer acting for One City Development in respect of the execution of a consent judgment involving the Sri Maha Mariamman Temple.

The managing partner of the firm, Mathew Thomas Philip, said in a statement the company ceased to act for One City Development in 2015 when another firm of lawyers took over the matter.

"I had been involved in the difficult negotiations leading to the consent judgment in question being successfully recorded in court, for the peaceful resolution of the dispute with the temple in 2014.

“However, I want to make it clear that since 2015, the firm has not in any way been involved in the execution of the consent judgment, as the matter had been taken over by another firm of solicitors.

“I am making this statement here because the Home Minister's statement regarding the involvement of lawyers in the payments made to thugs had unfortunately been circulated, with images of Thomas Philip's letter in 2014 enclosing a copy of the consent judgment," he said.

A WhatsApp message has been circulating, alleging that the firm is acting for One City Development in respect of the execution of a consent judgment involving the Sri Maha Mariamman Temple. - Bernama

 

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