Alleged 'Messiah' hacker to claim trial

Alleged 'Messiah' hacker to claim trial

James Raj Arokiasamy, the man accused of hacking into the website of a town council and signing off his alleged handiwork with "The Messiah" moniker, plans to fight the charge.

His lawyer M. Ravi said he will be claiming trial to the offence under the Computer Misuse and Cybersecurity Act, but he has "no instructions yet" on the three other drug charges his client also faces.

This comes after the two men spoke to each other for the first time at the end of a High Court hearing Friday. The session was held to hear an urgent application filed by Mr Ravi to have access to his client, who is remanded at the Institute of Mental Health for psychiatric evaluation.

James Raj, 35, is said to have signed off as "The Messiah" after he allegedly hacked into the Ang Mo Kio Town Council's website on Oct 28. Apart from the cyber attack, the runaway drug offender - who had been in hiding since 2011 - also faces three charges for drug consumption committed then.

In the application, Mr Ravi argued that Singapore citizens "should be entitled to at least a basic safeguard of having access to counsel within 48 hours of their arrest at the latest", if not immediately upon their request.

The debate centred on Article 9(3) of the Constitution, which reads: "Where a person is arrested, he shall be informed as soon as may be of the grounds of his arrest and shall be allowed to consult and be defended by a legal practitioner of his choice".

During the hearing, the defence and prosecution crossed swords over what would constitute a "reasonable time" before an accused is allowed to speak to his defence lawyer.

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