The police had claimed that they cannot rearrest the suspect, Noor Azhar Muhammad, in the case of S Thava Sagayam, a security guard who died in August after he was being assaulted in December last year.
According to FMT, Perak Police Chief, Mior Faridalathrash Wahid said although they cannot rearrest the suspect, they are looking into convict the suspect with more serious charges when he turns up in court on 9 September for his case mention.
Previously, Noor Azhar was being charged under Section 335 of the Penal Code for voluntarily causing grievous hurt using a table in a condominium in Ipoh on 29 December 2020.
Following which, he was allowed to be bailed until the re-mention of the case.
However, the police had then reclassified the case as murder after the victim died on 27 August after netizens demanded justice for the security guard.
In addition, netizens also found out that the suspect, Noor Azhar was once a Kota Bharu Bersatu Youth division member but the Kota Bharu Bersatu Division Chief, Mohamed Farid Mohamed Zawawi had denied the claims and claimed that the suspect is no longer active in the party.
So, why cant the police rearrest Noor Azhar?
Mior Faridalathrash said that under Article 7(2) of the Federal Constitution, a person who has been acquitted or convicted of an offence shall not be tried again for the same offence except where the conviction or acquittal has been quashed and a retrial ordered by a court superior to that by which he was acquitted or convicted.
Having said that, the constitution provides protection against retrospective criminal laws and repeated trials.
However, they are currently waiting for further instructions from the deputy public prosecutor.
“The matter is now with the deputy public prosecutor. We were told to adjust a few things (in the investigation papers) and we will wait for their reply.” he said, according to The Malaysian Insight.
Meanwhile, Ipoh Barat Member of Parliament (MP) and former minister M Kula Segaran said that he believes the police have “wrongly interpreted the law”.
He said the police can rearrest the suspect given the new developments in the case.
He added that Mior’s decision not to rearrest the suspect citing Article 7(2) of the Federal Constitution is “wrong in law and amounts to misdirection”, adding that it is only applicable if the accused pleaded guilty and is out on bail.
“The accused was only charged on 6 January and his case has been dragging on since then, with no hearing date fixed. Obviously, if the accused had pleaded guilty to the offence, then Article 7(2) of the Federal Constitution protects him from being charged again for the same offence based on the same facts and evidence.” he said, adding that Mior must clarify “if the accused has pleaded guilty and is on bail”.
Kula also highlighted that since the case was reclassified as a murder case, the accused is now a “murder suspect” and should be treated like one. He added that murder is not a bailable offence in Malaysia and the suspect should not be given special treatment.
Nonetheless, Kula is now urging the Attorney General to speed up the process to proffer charges under Section 302 of the Penal Code for murder.