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21 charged with being Gang 04 members; face up to 20 years' jail

GEORGE TOWN: Twenty men and a teenager face up to 20 years in jail for being members of an organised crime group known as "Gang 04".
Of the 21, 20 were charged at the sessions court here today; while 47-year-old B. Kannan was charged at the Penang Hospital.
The accused are S. Somasundram, E. Vimaleshwar, M. Balakrishnan, R. Jeegendran, G.T. Thinagaraju, S. Thannimalai, K. Murali, G. Prabakaran, G. Selvarajoo, David Charles Anthony Dass, G Devathirran, K Gogulan, S. George Sabastian, L. Luke Stevenson, S. Ragindran, S Manivenam, S Gunaseelan, P. Muneesparan, S Pavithren and a 17-year-old (whose age prevents his name from being made public).
All the accused were charged before sessions judge Norsalha Hamzah under Section 130V (1) of the Penal Code.
They are charged with belonging to an organised crime group in the northeast district here from Jan 1, 2015 until July 29 this year.
The charge sheets were read out in Tamil, but no plea was recorded from any of the accused, as they are being detained under the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act (Sosma) 2012.
Deputy Public Prosecutors (DPPs) Saiful Edris Zainuddin and Muhammad Fadzlan Mohd Noor prosecuted the case.
No bail was offered by DPPs.
RSN Rayer, M. Athimulan, V. Parthipan and A. Asyok were amongst the lawyers who represented 12 of the accused at court, while the others were not represented.
Norsalha fixed Sept 14 for next mention.
Saiful told newsmen outside the courtroom that the prosecutors will be requesting for the case to be transferred to the High Court.

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