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Thursday, July 19, 2007

Arrested Development: Epilogue

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Image created by Mob1900, hosting by PhotobucketThe Arrested Development series of posts, initiated when Nathaniel Tan was apprehended and detained by the police, is now, thankfully, at a happy end. No series, however, is complete without an epilogue, kinda like the text you see at the end of some films telling of what happened to the characters.

Nat, via has written about his detention and arrest, which you can read, in both English and Bahasa Malaysia, on that site. Walski won't regurgitate all of it here.

But what Walski does want to highlight is that there were a number of irregularities and contravening of procedures during the entire ordeal. Among them:

Throughout my detention, the police employed various questioning strategies in what struck me strongly as a concerted attempt to make me admit to things that I had not done.

The police also subjected me to various rounds of questioning between about 5.30pm and 9pm by different police officers who all kept asking me the same questions. I later learnt that questioning at such late hours was in fact illegal.

One of the officers questioning me that evening who refused to identify himself threatened to slap me and throw me across the room.

Not having access to legal counsel, I refused to answer in detail any questions the police posed in their extremely suspicious manner.


More importantly, the way the whole thing was handled clearly shows that our police force is in no way capable of properly and intelligently conduct a "cyber crime" investigation.

A silly phrase comes to mind when Walski thinks about all that went on: Celik IT, buta huruf (IT literate, but illiterate [ignorant] in the larger sense).
(Did someone say IPCMC? and more, in the full post)

How on earth can linking to information that is of dubious credibility be considered a crime? In fact, Nat had already practised due diligence (in Walski's opinion) when he moderated the anonymous comment, linking to the offending site.

And then there's the possibility of entrapment, as highlighted by Alphabet Soup in this recent post. Walski's not sure about the legality (or illegality) of using entrapment techniques such as this to warrant investigating and/or arresting someone for a cyber crime. Perhaps you law folks reading this can shed some light.

Now, more than ever, in Walski's mind, is the big question of what the hell happened to the promised-but-never-delivered IPCMC (Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission)? In any democratic society, the Police, while tasked with upholding the law, are not above it, and have to play by the rules. Which clearly, in Nat's case, wasn't quite what happened.

So, the infuriating saga of Nat Tan and his run-in with the law comes to a close. On behalf of the nameless elves and goblins running myAsylum, Walski wishes Nat well, and salutes him for his courageous stand while in wrongful detention. The experience has not only made Nat more resolute, Walski thinks, but has also shown that truth shall always prevail. Even in Malaysia.

And having a friend like Elizabeth Wong doesn't hurt, either.

Walski's epiloguous epilog footnote: In the event that another wrongful arrest case pops up at any time, the Arrested Development series will once again be resurrected. And in case you were wondering, Walski will retain the Free Nat poster (created by the brilliant Mob1900) at the very top of the blog until the end of Friday, July 20th. Which would mark one week (give or take a few hours) since Nat's initial abduction arrest. Walski's sometimes symbolically silly that way...