IPOH: Aug 21, 2008 By CHRISTINA KOH
Glad to be free: Mohd Osman (right) and his supporters raising their hands in jubilation after his release yesterday
Perak state executive councillor Mohd Osman Mohd Jailu and three others were released after the High Court shortened their remand order, from Friday to Thursday.
The four, and another man released earlier, had on Tuesday been detained for alleged graft involving a proposed housing project in Seri Iskandar, Perak Tengah, worth RM180mil.
Judicial Commissioner Ridwan Ibrahim ruled that the magistrate had issued the order on valid grounds.
"All the procedures were followed under the Criminal Procedure Code and I find that there was no injustice," he told a packed courtroom at about 5.15pm.
However, he said he felt that the three-day remand order was too long and as such revised it to end Thursday.
Counsel Mohamad Asri Othman and seven other lawyers argued that the magistrate had been wrong to issue the order and to fix the remand period for three days.
Mohamad Asri said this represented a grave injustice as the defence team could not "read the mind of the magistrate" who had supposedly failed to record the reasons for granting the order.
Earlier, Mohammad Asri created a stir when he implied that the arrests could be politically motivated to coincide with the Permatang Pauh by-election.
This provoked a vehement objection from Anti-Corruption Agency (ACA) Senior DPP Mohamad Jazamuddin Ahmad Nawawi who said it had nothing to do with the application.
Lawyers Faizul Hilmy Ahmad Zamri and Dexter Mah Kok Leong also took issue with the revelation that an ACA investigating officer was appointed only after the arrests.
However, Senior DPP Mohamad Jazamuddin countered that such was usually the case after a sudden "accident" or catching a criminal after a rape, provoking grumbles from Pakatan Rakyat supporters.
"I urge the court to reject the application. The magistrate has the discretion on whether or not to allow the remand order," he said.
The four were then produced before a magistrate and later freed at the state Anti-Corruption Agency (ACA) office on a RM20,000 bail each with one surety.
Fellow PKR member and former Bota assemblyman Kapt (Rtd) Usaili Alias hugged Mohd Osman after they were released at about 6.30pm.
Remand for another Perak Exco member Jamaluddin Mohd Radzi, who turned himself in on Wednesday to facilitate investigations into the case, ended Thursday.