Sunday, June 21, 2009

Lawyers Must Act Without Fear.

When my client, Hendrick Tan, was released by the court, the police immediately wanted to re-arrest him. When asked, the police officer could not give me reasons why Hendrick Tan should be re-arrested and this prompted me to advise the officer that the re-arrest of Hendrick Tan after an order of unconditional release has been made, would be unlawful and that she could be sued if she proceed to re-arrest. It was also a very embarrassing situation, but, I had to act without fear because I just had to enforce the court order. Had the officer wanted to re-arrest Hendrick Tan and where force could be used, I would definitely also stop this as an innocent person’s liberty should be protected at all cost. The officer, after being advised, just left us.

Hendrick Tan then followed me back as he had no vehicle and no money to go back.

During the remand proceedings before the magistrate, Mr. Brian Tan, the investigating officer was not present and his investigation diary was also never been transmitted to the court. Such an application definitely should fail as it was a requirement of the law that the diary of the investigating officer must be transmitted to court. What the court got during the remand proceedings was the diary of remand officer and worst still her diary did not at all disclose any offence upon which a remand application should be made. Meaning that, Hendrick Tan was arrested and produced before the court for no offence at all. Can the police do this? No court of law would allow this!

More than two years later, a team of police officers then came to my office to arrest me and charged me for harbouring Hendrick Tan. It shocked me! My wife panicked!

After being charged in court, some people approached me and told me that the charges could be dropped if I were to leave the Democratic Action Party and to join the Barisan Nasional! Immediately, I sensed politics in my arrest. Being a lawyer and politician, I knew very well that the charges against me was trumped up and initiated to curtail my political activities. After the arrest, I was warned to slow down my political activities or else face further harassments.

After losing their case in the magistrate court, the relevant authorities were still not happy and appealed to the High Court. YA David Wong in his strong worded judgment said that it would make the re-arrest of Hendrick Tan after being released unconditionally by a proper court “a farce” and that there was nothing wrong for me to enforce the order of the court. Despite that, a further appeal was made before the Court of Appeal and the Court of Appeal found nothing wrong with my action.

Photo of myself taken immediately after I came out of the Court Room

It took me nine years to fight this legal battle, but, the matter is not over yet. I am now studying the matter and may take my time to file a civil suit for wrongful arrest and for malicious prosecution. This may take another few years.

In jubiliant mood with my counsels after winning the case!
From L - R: Osman Ibrahim, Chong Siew Chiang, Voon Lee Shan, RJ Noel, Roger Chin
A truly multi-racial legal team to defend me!
All of them were good learned counsels, very experience in their trade


Anonymous said...

Syabas and Tahniah, YB. Voon for a hard fought battle! Now, may the Truth prevails for all to see. For what is hidden will be reviewed out and broadcast to the whole world at the roof of the house!

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