Rafizi’s ‘handcuff’ video goes viral
Social media was astir with sympathy for PKR vice-president Rafizi Ramli when images of him arriving in court with his hands “handcuffed” behind his back on Thursday morning.
Rafizi, who is being investigated under the Official Secrets Act, was smiling broadly as he walked with both his hands behind his back as though he was handcuffed as several police personnel escorted him from the vehicle to the court room.
The posting on his Facebook account read: Sdr Rafizi baru tiba di Istana Kehakiman Putrajaya. Digari seperti penjenayah. Sebarkan! (Rafizi just arrived at the Palace of Justice Putrajaya. Handcuffed like a criminal. Circulate!),
But by evening, some of the sympathy turned to brickbats when TV news footage showed that there were no handcuffs. Although Rafizi walked as though he was handcuffed from behind, he had unclasped his hands immediately after he entered the courtroom.
The original Facebook posting was quickly removed and his lawyer Saiful Izham Ramli later issued a statement to clear the air.
Saiful said it was normal police procedure for those taken to court to keep their hands together. This was to enable the police to hold on to the person’s arms on either sides.
“It was not acting or drama or to gain sympathy but a usual procedure on the part of police when bringing an accused (who does not fall in the serious crime category) to court,” he said.
However, a PKR lawyer said there is no such procedure, pointing to how Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim is never handcuffed in all his court appearance and is free to wave to his supporters.
Meanwhile Opposition MPs showed their support for Rafizi by marching from Parliament to Bukit Aman.