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‘No political agenda in deporting French lawyer’

Home Minister Hishammuddin Hussein says William Bourdon was
deported due to visa violation like making a speech in Penang.
KUALA LUMPUR: Home Minister Hishammuddin Hussein said that there was no political agenda in the deportation of French human rights lawyer William Bourdon. The minister said he was deported due to “visa non-compliance” and for making a speech in Penang.

“It’s due to a visa violation. There are certain things tourists cannot do. I don’t know what it is, but one cannot give a speech,” he told reporters today.

French lawyer William Bourdon was deported on Friday upon landing in KLIA from Penang, where he had spoken about the controversial Scorpene submarines deal which allegedly involved millions of ringgit in kickbacks to Malaysian government officials.

However, Hishammuddin denied that Bourdon’s deportation had any political agenda behind it.

“People get deported everyday, but people have selectively chosen this case to say that it is political,” he said.

According to Suaram director Cynthia Gabriel, immigration officials boarded the plane and detained Bourdon after his plane touched down at KLIA.

Bourdon was served a deportation order for violating the terms of his social visit pass and left the country at about 11pm on Friday.

The renowned human rights lawyer was due to speak at a fundraising dinner in Petaling Jaya on Friday night, and at another in Ipoh on Saturday.

Under the Immigration Act, the government has the power to deny entry and deport foreigners without giving any reason.

Bourdon’s detention was based on Section 9(a) of the Immigration Act, which gives the director-general powers to prohibit entry and cancel permits of individuals considered prejudicial to the nation, where he deems to be expedient to do so.

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