Irene Fernandez
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  • Date the memorandum was released: August 1995
  • Date Irene Fernandez was arrested: March 18,1996
  • Date the trial began: June 10, 1996
  • Total number of migrant ex-detainees interviewed by Tenaganita: 335
  • Number of women ex-detainees interviewed: 90
  • Number of detainee deaths in Semenyih Camp according to Supt. Abdul Malek Jano: 1
  • Number of Semenyih detainee deaths on the way to hospital, or in emergency wards according to Supt. Abdul Malek Jano: 37
  • Number of deaths witnessed by one detainee while in Semenyih Detention Camp according to the memorandum: 20
  • Number of deaths admitted by Prime Minister: 98
  • Initial number of witnesses the prosecution intended to call: 200+
  • Total number of witnesses brought forward by the prosecution: 35
  • Number of Former Detainees Interviewed by the Police: 36
  • Number of Former Detainees called as Witnesses for the Prosecution: Nil
  • The Defence was called on: February 2, 1999
  • The Defence called their first witness Irene Fernandez, the accused, to take the stand on April 7, 1999
  • 4 former detainees testified the abuse and torture experienced including sexual abuse while in the camp.
  • Defence called 21 witnesses
  • Trial postponed for 2 years (2000-2002) as court would not provide Bengali interpreter.
  • Trial reconvenes on 14th January 2003
  • March 2003 : The defence lawyers for Irene wound up the defence case. Various efforts were made to get women witnesses who were former detainees for the trial. March 17, 2004, is set as the date for judgement.
  • Defence lawyers are informed on October 10, 2003, that the judgement in the case will be delivered on October 14, 2003, instead of March 17, 2004, and are given one day to make written submissions to the court.
  • Prosecution submits 82-page submission on October 11, 2003.
  • Irene Fernandez found guilty of "maliciously publishing false news" on October 16, 2003, in Kuala Lumpur Magistrate's Court by Magistrate Juliana Mohamed.
  • Magistrate Juliana Mohamed sentences Irene Fernandez to one year in prison on October 17, 2003. The trial, which began on June 10, 1996, is considered the longest criminal trial in the country's history.
  • Magistrate Juliana Mohamed resigns from the civil service on October 17, 2003.

Posted on 2004-01-09
Asian Human Rights Commission
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