Alleged hacker James Raj denied bail, pre-trial conference set for January

James Raj Arokiasamy (above), the 35-year-old who allegedly signed off as "The Messiah" when he hacked into a town council website, has been denied bail. -- ST FILE PHOTO: WONG KWAI CHOW
James Raj Arokiasamy (above), the 35-year-old who allegedly signed off as "The Messiah" when he hacked into a town council website, has been denied bail. -- ST FILE PHOTO: WONG KWAI CHOW

James Raj Arokiasamy, the 35-year-old who allegedly signed off as "The Messiah" when he hacked into a town council website, has been denied bail.

District judge Soh Tze Bian, in agreeing with the prosecution during the bail hearing on Wednesday, said that while James Raj should be given access to his lawyer, he should not be granted bail given his history of having absconded in 2011.

James Raj then spent two-and-a-half years living in Malaysia "with no ostensible difficulty", the judge added.

"If not for the efforts of Malaysian police, he'd still be in Malaysia," said the judge, who did not give weight to defence lawyer M. Ravi's argument that the accused had strong roots in Singapore.

The judge added that James Raj's allegations of police mistreatment were totally irrelevant during bail proceedings.

The alleged mistreatment had happened in Malaysia and not here, he added, and "can be raised in a more proper forum".

While the prosecution offered to proceed on two of the four drug charges James Raj currently faces - the other charge under the Computer Misuse Act is still under investigation - Mr Ravi said his client would not enter a plea as he wanted to consider all the charges "globally".

The case has been set for pre-trial conference on Jan 7.