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Gani owes the Batu Caves 31 unjustly incarcerated for 13 days - a total of 403 days - and their families a public apology

Media Statement (2)          
by Lim Kit Siang  

(Parliament, Tuesday): The Attorney-General Tan Sri Gani Patail owes the Batu Caves 31 who were unjustly incarcerated for 13 days and their families a public apology for the sufferings and hardships they should not have been made to go through.

Gani’s explanations why he dropped the charges of attempted murder against the Batu Caves 31 in the Shah Alam Sessions Court underline the grave injustice which the Attorney-General had caused the 31 with the ridiculous charge of attempted murder and collective punishment of the 31 with the denial of bail for 13 days, resulting in a number of victims losing their jobs.

Two reasons had been given by Gani.

Gani said: “We can’t pinpoint who exactly did it or rather who was the one who threw the brick at the person who was badly injured”. If so, why did he charge the 31 with the capital offence of “attempted murder” with the maximum sentence of 20 years’ jail and fine, and what’s worse, denying bail to them for 13 days on a completely baseless contention of their being threats to national security!

Secondly, Gani said the 31 men were initially charged not because they were alleged to be Hindraf members but because they had committed an offence by participating in an illegal assembly.

Gani said all the 31 men had signed letters opposing Hindraf and claimed they were not Hindraf members. They also said they would never take part in any illegal assembly in the future.

This is a very serious contradiction. If the 31 were not charged because they were Hindraf members, why should any subsequent claim that they were not Hindraf members have any bearing on their cases?

The Batu Caves 31 had already been harshly and unfairly punished although they were innocent of the charge of attempted murder, as they were all incarcerated for 13 days each, which work out to 403 days for jail sentence for the 31.

The least Gani should do is to tender a public apology to the Batu Caves 31 and their families for this travesty of justice and abuse of prosecutorial powers in his unfair and unjust handling of cases of the Batu Caves 31.


* Lim Kit Siang, Parliamentary Opposition Leader, MP for Ipoh Timur & DAP Central Policy and Strategic Planning Commission Chairman

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