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Thursday, August 25, 2016

Court ordered Namewee released but cops held him back

GEORGE TOWN - Controversial rapper Namewee has been ordered to be released after the Penang assistant court registrar denied a police remand extension request today.

The police however, did not let him go immediately and took the 33-year-old Johorean born Wee Meng Chee back to the district police headquarters, prompting a cry of foul play from the singer’s lawyer.

However, the issue appears to be resolved for now. Wee’s lawyer T. Tharuma said the police will release his client at 5pm today, adding that he was not informed the reason for the deferment.

“The police will release Namewee on police bail while waiting for further instructions from the Attorney-General’s Chambers,” state northeast district police chief ACP Mior Faridalatrash Wahid also said.

The 33-year-old Johorean who is being investigated for allegedly insulting Islam was taken to the courthouse here at about about 8.45am as his initial remand order expires today.

But he was held another three hours in the courthouse lock-up while police applied to extend his remand for four days.

Assistant court registrar Ahmad Tajudin Zaini rejected the application, but the police then applied afresh, asking to hold Wee for another day, which was also subsequently denied.

Following the court order for his release, the police then took the singer away to the northeast district police headquarters on Jalan Patani.

Wee's lawyer told reporters then that the police cannot continue detaining the singer as the court has already ordered his release.

“They are still holding him and taking him to Patani Road. No, they don't want to tell why they are taking him there.

“I don't know why he has been taken away. Registrar has ordered him to be released,” Tharuma told reporters as Wee, who was dressed in a white shirt with bold black prints but handcuffed, was taken away in a police car at about 12.10pm.

The lawyer added that the police must either release Wee today or charge him in court by 5pm.

Tharuma said he will go directly to the northeast district police headquarters to arrange for Wee's release.

Wee is being investigated under Section 295 of the Penal Code for defiling a place of worship with intention to insult the religion over his controversial music video Oh My God, said to be shot in several places of worship in Penang. Among the locations featured in the music video was the scenic floating mosque in Tanjung Bungah.

Wee was remanded for four days from Monday after he flew back from a trip abroad. He was arrested immediately after his arrival at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport and brought to Penang last Sunday night.

The law provides for a jail term of up to two years, a fine or both upon conviction under Section 295 of the Penal Code.

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