Court of Appeal wants to look at classified report on missing activist in chambers

PUTRAJAYA: The Court of Appeal wants the government to provide the classified special task force report over the disappearance of activist Amri Che Mat for the court to assess.

Justice Datuk Seri Kamaludin Md Said, who chairs a three-man panel of judges, made the order to enable the court to decide whether the content of the report would put national security and police at risk.

The panel, which also includes Justices Datuk Hashim Hamzah and Datuk Azizul Azmi Adnan, made the order during the hearing of the government's appeal against the decision of a High Court in granting the limited release of the report which is classified under the Official Secrets Act, to Amri's wife.

Earlier, Justice Azizul said he and his fellow judges would go through the document in chambers, without the presence of other parties.

"Is there any reason why the document cannot be made available to us, or for us to have a look at the document in camera without disclosing the document to the respondent?" he asked senior federal counsel Ahmad Hanir Hambaly@Alwi, who is appearing for the government on Monday (Dec 11).

Ahmad Hanir said he would produce the document only for the judges and would comply with the procedures under the OSA.

Justice Kamaludin then fixed Dec 13 for case management before the Court of Appeal deputy registrar.

In on Monday's proceedings conducted online, the court heard submissions from Ahmad Hanir, who argued that the High Court was wrong to make an order for limited disclosure of the report to Amri's wife Norhayati Mohd Ariffin.

He said the High Court Judge did not make an order for the report to be produced before him for the judge to examine it.

On May 9 this year, High Court Judge Datuk Wan Ahmad Farid Wan Salleh allowed Norhayati's judicial review application and ordered the limited release of the report to her for her to use in the civil suit she filed in November 2019 against 21 parties, including the government and the police, over the alleged failure to effectively investigate her husband's alleged abduction.

He also made an order that Norhayati and her lawyers are prohibited from disclosing the report to any third party.

Norhayati's lawyer A. Surendra Ananth told the court that the trial of his client's civil suit will resume on Feb 29 next year before the High Court in Kuala Lumpur. – Bernama

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