SEREMBAN: The Sessions Court here on Wednesday (Nov 6) allowed an application by the prosecution to drop two charges against Seremban Jaya assemblyman P. Gunasekaran over alleged links to the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).
Judge Madihah Harullah acceded to the request after deputy public prosecutor Aslina Ahad made the application.
R.S.N Rayer, the lead counsel for Gunasekaran, then stood up and told the court that the defence team was also agreeable to the request.
Gunasekaran was not present in court.
A large crowd, including Gunasekaran's family members, which had gathered inside and outside the court, were all smiles after news went around of the prosecution's decision to drop the charges.
Also present were Human Resources Minister M. Kulasegaran, several DAP assemblymen, as well as party chairman Tan Kok Wai.
The case was over within minutes.
When met outside the court later, Rayer said the defence did not have details of the two charges against Gunasekaran.
"The case was supposed to be mentioned today.
"We were only informed this morning that the prosecution has decided to withdraw the charges and they have also informed the court they will not be proceeding with the case," he said.
Rayer said his team would only have known what the charges were if the prosecution had decided to proceed.
"The prosecution is only obliged to give us a copy of the charge sheet if they had proceeded, but since they have withdrawn the charges and they don't intend to proceed, I suppose they will not be giving us a copy," he said.
Rayer said all he knew was that the two charges were supposed to be under the Security Offences (Special Measure) Act (Sosma) 2012.
He said no reasons were given by the prosecution as to why it decided not to proceed with the case.
"I thank the prosecution, and we hope they will do likewise in the other courts.
"YB Guna is not a terrorist. He is a dedicated assemblyman who has been serving his constituents well.
"So we hope the prosecution will follow suit and reconsider all the other charges in the other courts," he said.
Kulasegaran, when met, said he was happy with the decision.
"We are also happy with our discussion with the Prime Minister yesterday that the review of Sosma and other similar laws will be carried out.
"We hope the necessary amendments can come through in this sitting of Parliament," he added.
Gunasekaran, who is also state DAP deputy chairman, and Gadek assemblyman G. Saminathan were arrested on Oct 10 by personnel from the Bukit Aman Counter Terrorism Division, together with five other suspects following raids in Melaka, Negri Sembilan, Kedah, Perak, Kuala Lumpur and Selangor.
Two days later, police arrested five more suspects following raids in Melaka, Penang and Selangor.
On Nov 1, Gunasekaran and several others were slapped with charges related to alleged links to LTTE in front of three different judges at separate courts.
Gunasekaran, 60, was charged with supporting LTTE through his social media account under the name of Dap Guna Palaisamy.
He was charged under Section 131J (1)(a) of the Penal Code, which carries an imprisonment for life, or for a jail term not exceeding 30 years, or with fine; and shall also be liable to forfeiture of any property used or intended to be used in connection with the offence, upon conviction.
On Tuesday (Nov 5), the Kuala Lumpur High Court dismissed a habeas corpus application by Gunasekaran and four others to be released immediately from detention over their alleged links to the LTTE terrorist group.
Judicial commissioner Datuk Ahmad Shahrir Mohd Salleh said the habeas corpus applications have become academic and irrelevant because the applicants have been charged in court.