Friday, July 24, 2015

Despite deadline expiry, Home Ministry keeps Sarawakian Christian’s ‘Allah’ CDs

BY IDA LIM
Thursday July 23, 2015
Lawyer Annou Xavier said the Home Ministry had failed to return eight compact discs containing the word ‘Allah’ seized from a Sarawakian Christian despite the expiry of a court order for it to do so. — Picture by Choo Choy May


Lawyer Annou Xavier said the Home Ministry had failed to return eight compact discs containing the word ‘Allah’ seized from a Sarawakian Christian despite the expiry of a court order for it to do so. — Picture by Choo Choy MayKUALA LUMPUR, July 23 — The Home Ministry has failed to return eight compact discs containing the word “Allah” seized from a Sarawakian Christian despite the expiry of a court order for it to do so by today, her lawyer confirmed.
Annou Xavier, the lawyer for Jill Ireland Lawrence Bill, also confirmed the government has not sought to file an appeal against the court order in his client’s favour.
“As of today, they had not filed application for leave and CDs also not returned,” he told Malay Mail Online when contacted.
Annou said he had informed his client, adding: “I want to get instructions for client first and take it from there.”
Today is the end of a one-month deadline set by the Court of Appeal for the Home Ministry’s release of the eight CDs it seized from the Bumiputra Christian.
The deadline for the government to file an appeal at the Federal Court also ended today, as one month is the typical timeframe allowed for parties to challenge a court decision, unless an extension of time is granted.
Yesterday, Jill Ireland’s lawyers wrote to the Attorney-General’s Chambers to ask them to advise Putrajaya and the home minister to immediately comply with the court order and return the CDs.
One of Jill Ireland’s lawyer, Lim Heng Seng, previously said that the Melanau native needs to use the CDs, which were seized seven years ago, for her own study and personal use.
On May 11, 2008, the Home Ministry confiscated eight CDs bearing the word “Allah” from Jill Ireland at the Sepang airport upon her return from Indonesia, prompting her to file for judicial review in August the same year against the Home Minister and government of Malaysia.
On July 21 last year, High Court judge Datuk Zaleha Yusof ruled that the Home Ministry was wrong to detain the CDs based on a point of law, also ordering the government to return the CDs and pay RM5,000 in legal costs.
The Home Ministry filed its appeal against the ruling on July 22, and Jill Ireland too filed an appeal on August 18 the same year as the High Court had not addressed several constitutional questions raised in her judicial review application.
On June 23, the Court of Appeal upheld a lower court’s decision when ruling unanimously in favour of Jill Ireland and ordering the Home Ministry to return the CDs it had seized from her in 2008.
The court also ordered the return of two constitutional matters — involving Jill Ireland’s right to religious freedom and equality before the law — to be heard at the High Court. The next case management date is on August 12.
- See more at: http://www.themalaymailonline.com/malaysia/article/despite-deadline-expiry-home-ministry-keeps-sarawakian-christians-allah-cds#sthash.jdJwJP8Z.dpuf

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