KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 23 — Former Batu Kawan Umno deputy chief Khairuddin Abu Hassan has been rearrested by the police this evening, moments after he was released by the court at the Jalan Duta Court Complex, Malaysiakini reported today.
Khairuddin, who filed reports against 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) in several countries, was rearrested under the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act (Sosma) around 4.40pm.
He can be detained without trial for up to 29 days under the Sosma act.
“When he walked out of the court after being released, he was immediately re-arrested for offences under Section 124K and 124L of the Penal Code,” his lawyer Matthias Chang told Malaysiakini.
Section 124K and 124L deal with sabotage and attempting to sabotage the state respectively.
Khairuddin was initially arrested on suspicion of acting to ‘topple the government’ under Section 124C of the Penal Code, which was related to acts detrimental to parliamentary democracy.
“The sabotage charge couldn’t stick under Section 124C, so that’s why they needed to re-arrest him,” Chang added.
Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar said Khairuddin’s attempt to solicit foreign investigations into 1MDB was an act of sabotage and a danger to Malaysia’s economy and sovereignty, as well as a disservice to the country’s law enforcement agencies.
The IGP insisted that the former Umno leader should have provided any evidence in his possession to local investigators for their own use, given that he initially lodged a report against the firm here in Malaysia.
“Instead, he still chose to use foreign legal avenues, particularly Britain, Hong Kong, France and the United States with the purpose of applying international pressure on Malaysia.”
Khairuddin was arrested on Friday, the day he was reportedly due to fly to New York in the US to meet with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and was remanded a further six days on Saturday. He was initially due to be released tomorrow.
Prior to his arrest, Khairuddin claimed that he was barred from leaving the country by the Immigration Department.
The former deputy chief of the Umno Batu Kawan division had been on a global tour to solicit investigations by other countries into 1MDB.
The WSJ has published a series of reports detailing dubious activity allegedly involving 1MDB, beginning with an exposé in July on the US$700 million (RM2.6 billion) deposit in Najib’s accounts.
It followed up last month with another report alleging that US$1.4 billion in payments from 1MDB to a UAE sovereign fund was missing from the Middle Eastern firm’s accounts.
The July report, in particular, appeared to trigger a series of events in Malaysia that eventually led to the amount being declared a donation from the Middle East while local investigations into 1MDB were also either suspended or repurposed.
Najib has denied any impropriety over the US$700 million (RM2.9 billion) donation, which was described as a political donation to the Umno party that he heads.