Friday, May 7, 2010

The Kelantan royalty issue - grabs the attention of the world

Everybody was shocked to hear about the happenings in the Kelantan royalty family.

The Star today reported that a team of lawyers representing the Sultan of Kelantan has filed a writ of habeas corpus to seek the release of the state ruler from detention by police.

The newspaper reported that this is the first time in the world that such a writ was filed.

The rest of the story here as reported by the star online today Saturday 8 May 2010.

KUALA LUMPUR: In an unprecedented move, a team of lawyers has filed a writ of habeas corpus on behalf of the Sultan of Kelantan to immediately “free” him from the Universiti Sains Malaysia Hospital where he is currently warded.

The Special Court will hear the application on Monday, said one of the lawyers, Gobind Singh Deo.

Sultan Ismail Petra is heavily guarded at the hospital’s Royal Ward in Kubang Kerian, Kelantan, where he has been admitted since Tuesday.

The writ, which was filed at the Special Court in Putrajaya yesterday, is supported by an affidavit by the Sultan’s third son, Tengku Temeng-gong Tengku Muhammad Fakhry Petra.

The Special Court was set up in 1993 to hear cases involving royalty.

The writ names the Sultan of Kelantan as the applicant and lists five respondents – the Kelantan police chief, the Inspector-General of Police, the hospital director, the Health Ministry’s director-general and the Federal Government.

The six lawyers headed by Raja Aziz Addruse said they believed the Sultan was being held in the hospital against his will and should be released immediately.

All five respondents, they said, were responsible for the Sultan’s situation.

“We take the view that the Sultan is in hospital under restraint. That’s why we are seeking his release,” Raja Aziz said at a press conference yesterday, which was also attended by three relatives of the Raja Perem-puan of Kelantan Tengku Anis Tengku Hamid.

Raja Aziz, however, declined to explain why they felt the Sultan was under restraint.

“He is not a prisoner. But the habeas corpus applies not just to persons in prison but those who are restrained from exercising their rights of liberty. He is being detained against his will,” he added.

The others in the team are Datuk Haaziq Pillay, Datuk Param Cumara-swamy, Abdul Rashid Ismail and Malik Imtiaz Sarwar.

Param said this was the first time in the world a writ of habeas corpus had been filed to seek the release of a state ruler from detention by police.

Gobind Singh said Tengku Muhammad Fakhry had filed the affidavit as attempts to see the Sultan of Kelantan had failed. Tengku Muhammad Fakhry is not among the five people who are allowed to visit the Sultan.

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