The Malaysian Bar Council is 'absolutely appalled' over lawyer Matthias Chang's arrest under the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act (Sosma).
"I can tell you that the Malaysian Bar is absolutely appalled that a member of the bar is being treated this way, acting for a client," Bar Council president Steven Thiru told reporters in Kuala Lumpur.
He said this after delivering his closing speech at the Malaysian Legal and Corporate Conference 2015 today.
"We have already expressed our reservations over the use of Sosma against (former Umno leader) Khairuddin Abu Hassan, and those same reservations will apply here," he added.
The police cannot force Chang to divulge any information given to him by his client, Thiru said, explaining that such information would be protected by the solicitor-client privilege.
Chang, who is Khairuddin's lawyer, was arrested earlier today on the same grounds as his client.
"Just got arrested under Sosma for (Section) 124K and 124L (of the Penal Code). Same as Khairuddin," he said in a text message to Malaysiakini.
Section 124K and 124L of the Penal Code deal with sabotaging and attempting to sabotage the state.
Yesterday, Thiru had denounced the intimidation and harassment of members of the Malaysian Bar acting on behalf of their clients.
He had specifically used the example of Chang, who was previously called in for questioning by the police on Sept 28 and again on Oct 2 as a witness in Khairuddin's case.
'Sosma not ISA replacement'
Chang had acted as Khairuddin's counsel when he lodged multiple police reports on 1MDB overseas.
They were reportedly scheduled to meet the US' FBI over 1MDB but were barred from leaving the country on Sept 18.
Later that day, Khairuddin was arrested under Section 124C for 'activities detrimental to parliamentary democracy'.
He was then re-arrested six days later under Sosma, a law that is supposed to deal with terrorist activities.
Sosma also allows for a person to be detained up to 28 days without trial.
Thiru reiterated that in light of these incidents, the police should not misuse Sosma.
"(Sosma) was not meant to be used this way. Sosma should not become a replacement for the ISA.
"And the way the police are using it now, we are concerned that Sosma is a new ISA albeit for up to 28 days," he said.Read more: https://www.malaysiakini.com/news/315079#ixzz3o36Mc23z