LHAG Advocates And Solicitors LHAG Advocates And Solicitors


Charges against Turks Withdrawn

The Attorney-General’s Chambers (“AGC”) has finally withdrawn the charges against deported Turkish academician Ismet Özçelik, and four others, for allegedly obstructing public officers from discharging their duty.

Last December, Ismet was at his son’s house when a group of plainclothes men claiming to be immigration officers descended upon him. Ismet was naturally alarmed, as two months prior to that, some Turks had disappeared from Malaysia, only to surface in Turkey imprisoned by the Erdogan regime over their alleged involvement in a failed coup in July.Ismet called his son Suheyl, a teacher at Time International School, who in turn sought help from three colleagues who called the police to seek an explanation why these plainclothes men wanted to confiscate Ismet’s passport. Instead, all five were arrested and charged for obstruction. Ismet was to endure 51 days in remand at the Sungai Buloh Prison.In May, while preparing for the trial, Ismet, who was still under the jurisdiction of the Malaysian courts, was deported to Turkey along with Turgay Karaman, a key witness to the defence.

The remaining four accused applied to strike out the charges as the removal of Ismet from Malaysia was not only illegal but would prejudice their defence. Also, it would be unfair and unjust for the charges to continue against all including Ismet.

On Monday (14 August), the AGC’s decision to withdraw the charge was recorded by magistrate Puan Siti Radziah Kamaruddin, who ordered the five accused to be discharged not amounting to an acquittal.

The team representing all five accused consists of partner Rosli Dahlan and senior associate Muhammad Faizal Faiz bin Mohd Hasani.

For the news reports, see Free Malaysia Today, Malay Mail Online and Malaysiakini (subscription required).

17 August 2017