English Section (Harakah)
KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 10 (ES) – The Kuala Lumpur Court Complex on Jalan Duta saw a throng of lawyers and supporters crowding at the court lobby to get the latest updates on the multiple arrests of opposition leaders and lawyers yesterday.
The court saw opposition leader and Islamic Party of Malaysia (PAS) deputy president Mohamad Sabu, Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) Information chief Tian Chua, Gobalakrishnan and fourteen others being charged with illegal assembly in connection with the Nov 10 mass rally organised by the coalition for free and fair elections or better known as Bersih.
Other than Tian Chua and Mohamad Sabu, the rest also faced a second charge of disobeying a police order to disperse.
All claimed trial.
Sessions Judge Rozina Ali Yusoff granted bail to all the accused despite objections from the prosecution.
Hearing will be held for three consecutive days starting from Feb 11.
Tian Chua and Mohamad Sabu were given bail at RM5,000 with one guarantor each and Gobalakrishnan was given bail at the lesser amount of RM3,000.
As no information was initially forthcoming in which court the suspects were going to be charged, everyone was left standing at the court lobby for more than two hours.
A wrong tip then saw the crowd running helter-skelter to a magistrate court only to be informed sitting judge of that particular court was on leave. Journalists and lawyers were then informed that the case was going to be held at the Sessions Court 1 and 2 on level 4 of the complex.
Those who managed to get a seat in the court however, had a long wait as the court only started after more than an hour.
Among PAS leaders present was treasurer Dr. Hatta Ramli, Information chief Mahfuz Omar, Research Centre Director Dr Dzulkifli Ahmad, Legal Affairs Bureau Chief Hanipa Maidin, MP for Kubang Kerian Salahudin Ayub and central committee member Dr Syed Azman Syed Ahmad.
Other present included PKR President Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, parliamentary opposition chief and Democratic Action Party (DAP) president Lim Kit Siang, former UN Special Rapporteur Param Cumaraswamy, former Bar Council chairman Yeo Yang Poh and Bar Council chairwoman Ambiga Sreenevasan.
Police summons blogger
Meanwhile in a related development blogger Jeff Ooi was today summoned by the police to give a statement over a comment he made to the Al-Jazeera television station on the Bersih mass rally recently.
According to Bernama, Ooi and his three lawyers arrived at the Commercial Crime Investigation Department (CCID) at Bukit Aman here at 1.30pm and he gave his statement to ASP Tan Ti Heng at 2pm.
Ooi, who left the CCID building at 3pm, told reporters: “I was asked to give a detailed explanation on my statement to Al-Jazeera, which is said to be of a seditious nature and to have tarnished the nation’s image.”
Ooi said he and his lawyers were satisfied with the treatment accorded to him by the police.
Ooi was summoned to give the statement following police reports lodged by the Malaysian Muslim Consumers Association (PPIM), the Malaysian Indian Muslim Congress (Kimma) and the Pertubuhan Seni Silat Ikatan Kalam Malaysia (Pikum) against Ooi’s statement to Al-Jazeera on Nov 17.
He is alleged to have made a false statement to Al-Jazeera by saying that police had used unnecessary force to disperse those who participated in the Bersih rally.
Mohamad Sabu, Tian Chua brought to court
English Section (Harakah)