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Alleged hacker's application for immediate access to counsel dismissed

Published on Jan 14, 2014 12:10 PM
 
James Raj Arokiasamy, accused of hacking into the Ang Mo Kio Town Council’s website, is being driven away after a court appearance on Nov 15, 2013. The High Court on Tuesday dismissed alleged hacker James Raj Arokiasamy's application for immediate access to counsel. -- ST FILE PHOTO: WONG KWAI CHOW

The High Court on Tuesday dismissed alleged hacker James Raj Arokiasamy's application for immediate access to counsel.

This has become an issue of academic interest because the 35-year-old who is accused of hacking into the Ang Mo Kio Town Council's website on Oct 28 last year and signing off as "The Messiah"- had already been granted access to his lawyer M. Ravi.

James Raj filed an application in the High Court for immediate access to counsel after he was charged on Nov 12 last year and ordered to be remanded at the Institute of Mental Health. At the end of the hearing on Nov 15, Justice Choo Han Teck reserved judgment on the matter but allowed Mr Ravi to speak to James Raj for a few minutes. On Dec 3, James Raj was granted full access to his lawyer.

On Tuesday, Justice Choo gave his decision, dismissing the application. He said he was bound by the Court of Appeal's decision in the case of Jasbir Singh in 1994, in which the highest court ruled that an arrested person's constitutional right to counsel did not mean that he was entitled to counsel immediately after his arrest. James Raj also faces four charges for drug consumption.