Why Was Rafizi Arrested?

The Pandan MP was taken away in front of the Parliament gate yesterday, 5 April.

Cover image via The Rakyat Post

Rafizi to be charged under the Official Secrets Act (OSA) today, 8 April

Pandan MP Rafizi Ramli is expected to be charged under the Official Secrets Act (OSA) today.

His lawyer Saiful Izham Ramli told Malaysiakini that he is to be charged under Section 8 of the OSA at the Kuala Lumpur sessions court this morning.

"We were just informed over the phone by the police (on the charge)," Saiful said.

Rafizi was arrested outside the parliament gates on Tuesday, and was remanded for three days.

If convicted, the Pandan MP could serve between one to seven years in prison

Rafizi Ramli was arrested in March 2015 over the pro-Anwar Ibrahim #KitaLawan rally.

Image via Free Malaysia Today

The PKR representative may also lose his seat as Pandan MP.

The Federal Constitution states that members of the parliament can lose their seats if they are jailed for more than a year or fined for more than RM2,000.

Meanwhile, the police has also launced an investigation on the opposition MPs for organising a rally to demand Rafizi’s freedom yesterday, 7 April

According to Malaysiakini, about 70 oppositions MPs marched from the Parliament to the police headquarters to submit a memorandum to the Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar, demanding the release of their fellow parliamentarian, Rafizi Ramli yesterday.

Kuala Lumpur police chief Amar Singh Ishar Singh said the matter clearly did not comply with the Peaceful Assembly Act (PAA) 2012.

"Police will investigate the matter ...they have violated the PAA 2012 for not submitting a notice 10 days before the rally and to also hold a protest march," he told reporters.

6 APRIL: Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) vice-president Rafizi Ramli was arrested by the police as soon as he stepped out of the Parliament building yesterday, 5 April

Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) vice-president Rafizi Ramli.

Image via The Rakyat Post

Here are some things that you should know about the unceremonious incident:

According to Kuala Terengganu MP Raja Kamarul Bahrin, the Pandan MP was not allowed to speak when he was arrested

Parti Amanah Negara (Amanah) MP Raja Kamarul Bahrain

Image via nasionalis

Parti Amanah Negara (Amanah) MP Raja Kamarul Bahrain, whose vehicle was behind Rafizi’s car, recounted the incident when a police swooped in on the latter just as he passed the guardhouse to Parliament.

“He was stopped in front of me. There were around two to three police cars and a lot of police officers,” he told reporters when contacted.

Raja Kamarul added that the police did not allow Rafizi to speak and allegedly did not inform the PKR lawmaker why he was being detained or where he would brought to for processing.

Attempts to contact Rafizi by Sungai Petani MP and reporters failed

Sungai Petani MP Datuk Johari Abdul.

Image via Blogspot

Sungai Petani MP Datuk Johari Abdul told reporters that he did not manage to contact Rafizi despite numerous attempts.

"I have been trying to contact Rafizi and his driver, but cannot reach them," he said.

Free Malaysia Today (FMT) reporters also attempted to contact Rafizi, but failed, as his phone was switched off.

IGP Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar has confirmed that Rafizi had been arrested under Section 8 of the Official Secrets Act (OSA)

Section 8 of OSA states that if a person is found guilty of having unauthorised access to or disseminating classified information, that person will be jailed for a mandatory one year or a maximum of seven years.

Following his arrest, the police searched Rafizi's home and offices last night

At about 10.30pm, a group of policemen in two cars was seen reaching the PKR headquarters in Petaling Jaya.

It is learnt that police seized a desktop computer from the Pandan PKR office in Pandan Jaya.

Rafizi was later brought to his home in Bukit Antarabangsa to retrieve his laptop and several documents.

"They seized a laptop and several documents," he said when met outside his home yesterday.

About 30 people gathered in solidarity outside the police headquarters in Bukit Aman to demand Rafizi's release yesterday night, 5 April

According to New Straits Times (NST), lawyer Latheefa Koya, Pokok Sena MP Datuk Mahfuz Omar and Bersih co-chairperson Datuk S. Ambiga were among those who were present to demand Rafizi’s release.

Penampang MP Darell Leiking was quoted as saying during his speech at the gathering, "What is the purpose of police arresting him outside of the parliament? Are they intimidated by him?"

He added that he hoped that Rafizi would be released before the parliament session starts today.

It was said that Rafizi was arrested for revealing a classified document that allegedly proves a link between Lembaga Tabung Angkatan Tentera (Armed Forces Fund Board ) (LTAT) and controversial state fund 1MDB

Rafizi claimed that LTAT was facing financial difficulties in paying out gratuity to retired army veterans. He revealed details from what he claimed was an excerpt of the Attorney-General's report on 1MDB that could support his claims on 28 March.

The content of the classified document is not known.

Malaysiakini clarified that it does not possess any copies of the classified document nor can it report the details of the document revealed at the press conference due to restrictions under the OSA.

Last week, Pulai MP Datuk Nur Jazlan Mohammad had warned that Rafizi could face charges under OSA for releasing an excerpt from the Auditor-General’s report on 1MDB

Deputy Home Minister Datuk Nur Jazlan Mohammad

Image via Straits Times

The Deputy Home Minister said Rafizi "definitely broke" the law if the document is verified to be under it.

"Of course he is wrong, it's the OSA, which has prescribed offence and punishment."

"Police will launch their own investigations now that Rafizi has admitted to giving out OSA documents," Nur Jazlan told reporters outside the Dewan Rakyat on 29 March.

Two months ago, Rafizi was one of the loudest voices that opposed the Attorney-General Apandi's proposal for stricter punishment under the Official Secrets Act 1972 (OSA):

Need a refresher on the 1MDB controversy? Here's all you need to know about the scandal, in short, easy-to-watch videos:

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