Ethnic Indian challenges detention by Malaysian Air Force

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

KUALA LUMPUR - A Malaysian high court Tuesday fixed Jan 17 to hear the application of former Sgt. N. Tharmendran challenging his detention. Tharmendran, an ethnic Indian, served the Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) earlier.

He has challenged his detention saying that the RMAF could not hold him now that he is a civilian.

The case pertains to the theft of two jet engines belonging to the RMAF in 2007, that came to light later. Tharmendran, 42, has claimed innocence and said that he was being made a scapegoat.

The court heard the parties concerned who sought time to file further affidavits to justify Thartmendran’s arrest and on an earlier release, his re-arrest from the car park of the court.

Tharmendran had filed the habeas corpus application Nov 26 last year, naming four respondents Lt. Col. Mohd Razif, who is the Batu Cantonment Detention Camp Commandant, chief of Air Force General Rodzali Daud and Malaysian Defence Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.

In the supporting affidavit that was submitted, Tharmendran claimed that his detention and arrest Nov 25 were unjustifiable, wrongful and invalid under the law and was mala fide.

Tharmendran claimed that his detention was unlawful because he was a civilian and was no longer serving with the RMAF since May 28, the Star Online said.

He also claimed that all the four respondents had acted beyond their jurisdiction by arresting and detaining him unlawfully.

On Nov 25, Tharmendran was re-arrested by the RMAF at the car park of the Shah Alam Court Complex for not discharging his duty.

The arrest was made by five officers from the RMAF Provost Marshal Office after Tharmendran attended the hearing on his application to drop the charges against him at the court.

On Jan 6, Tharmendran pleaded not guilty at the Petaling Jaya Sessions Court to the charge of abetment in the theft of two F5 jet engines belonging to the RMAF.

He was charged with abetting Airman Mohamad Shukri Mohamad Yusop to steal the two jet engines, the official Bernama news agency said.

will not be displayed