PUTRAJAYA, Aug 26 — A contractor charged with sabotaging water services in Selangor has failed again in his bid to be released on bail pending disposal of his trial.
A Court of Appeal three-man bench led by Justice Datuk Suraya Othman dismissed R. Nathan’s application to obtain bail pending the outcome of his trial.
In delivering the court’s decision, she said the charge preferred against Nathan under Section 124K of the Penal Code is a security offence categorised under the first Schedule of the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act (Sosma) 2012.
Justice Suraya said bail could only be granted under Section 13 (2) of the Sosma Act if a person fulfilled the conditions under that Section.
Section 13 (1) states that bail shall not be granted to a person who has been charged with a security offence. However, Section 13 (2) provides an exception that bail may be given to a detainee who is below the age of 18 years, a woman or a sick or an infirm person.
She, however, said the Sosma Act was not applicable in respect to Nathan’s bail application as the offence under Section 124K of the Penal Code which was passed pursuant to Article 149 (e) of the Federal Constitution was excluded under Sosma.
Justice Suraya said Nathan could apply for bail under Section 388 of the Criminal Procedure Code pending disposal of his trial if he fulfilled the conditions as set out in that section.
“We find that the applicant (Nathan) has not met any of the conditions expressed in the section (Section 388) (and) as such the application is dismissed,” she said.
Justice Suraya, however, told counsel T. Harpal Singh that his client could still apply for bail under the provisions in the Criminal Procedure Code if he fulfilled the criteria.
The other two judges presiding on the bench were Justices Datuk Abu Bakar Jais and Datuk See Mee Chun.
In November last year, Nathan, 43, and company director Lim Kian Aik, 43 pleaded not guilty at the Selayang Sessions Court to a charge of intentionally committing sabotage to disrupt water services in Selangor at Taman Velox, Rawang, Gombak between November 2 and 10 last year.
The charge was framed under Section 124K of the Penal Code, read together with Section 34 of the same code, which provides for life imprisonment, if convicted.
Nathan’s application for bail was also dismissed by the High Court in May this year. Nathan has been in Sungai Buloh prison over the last 10 months.
Harpal Singh told reporters that the trial date has yet to be fixed.
Deputy public prosecutor Nurul Farhana Khalid appeared for the prosecution. — Bernama