In an unexpected turn of events, the government today withdrew its appeal against the High Court order releasing Malaysian Crime Watch Task Force (MyWatch) chairman R Sanjeevan under a preventive detention law.
Senior Federal Counsel Muhammad Sinthi did not provide reasons for discontinuing the appeal before a five-man Federal Court bench.
“We do not intend to proceed with the appeal,” the government lawyer told the panel.
Chief Justice Arifin Zakaria, who chaired the panel, then struck out the appeal.
On July 26, at the Kuala Lumpur High Court, judge Mohamad Shariff Abu Samah allowed Sanjeevan’s habeas corpus application and ordered police to set him free from a 21-day remand.
In his application, Sanjeevan wanted the court to declare that the remand under the Prevention of Crime Act 1954 (Poca) was null and void.
Shariff then ruled that the warrant of arrest for Sanjeevan’s detention at the police remand centre (PRC) in Jalan Ipoh was defective as procedures were not stricly followed.
Sanjeevan was detained under Poca on July 10, some 18 days after he had already been in detention, following his arrest on suspicion of extortion.
Human rights groups criticised the detention, saying that there was no need for the anti-crime activist to have been detained for 18 days if he was to be arrested under the Act.
Sanjeevan, who has in recent times exposed vice activities in the country, was rearrested for the seventh time since first being detained on June 23 on suspicion of extorting RM25,000 in “protection money” from an illegal gambling syndicate.