Ipoh (Malaysia), Aug.5 : The six-month review of the detention of the five Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf) leaders on July 1 was held in secret with two senior federal counsels conspiring with the investigating officer, a High Court was told here on Monday.
Investigation Officer and acting Assistant Commissioner of Police Yusoff Mohamad Amin, and senior counsels Abdul Wahab Mohamed and Najib Zakaria said that they had reached an agreement among themselves to exclude the public from the legal proceedings.
"Everything was held in camera. We agree that the public should be excluded, but it was a camera in camera. It was held in secret," the New Strait Times quoted Amin, as saying.
"Whatever happened behind the back of the defence and counsel, we don't know," HINDRAF leaders' counsel Karpal Singh added after submitting his habeas corpus application that sought the release of the five HINDRAF leaders detained under the Internal Security Act.
The five detainees are lawyers R. Kengadharan, 41, M. Manoharan, 47, V. Ganabatirau, 35, P. Uthayakumar, 47 and businessman K. Vasantha Kumar, 35.
Karpal told Judicial Commissioner Ridwan Ibrahim that Amin was not called to give evidence or to rebut the evidence given by the five.
"We asked for the IO to be called. If there were any points that the IO made that touched on national security, objections could be made. Court discretion should be exercised judiciously. How can they anticipate that what the IO said would touch on national security?" he asked.
The advisory board of the detention centre in Kamunting was to search for the "unvarnished truth" and see if the detention was justified, he added.
He submitted that the board was wrong in not applying the trappings of a judicial enquiry as required, when hearing the applicants' representation.