Bersih 17: Bail extended again

Khairil Zhafri | Dec 26, 07 1:46pm

The 17 activists from Coalition for Clean & Fair Elections (Bersih) who were arrested for breaching a ban to gather at Parliament on Dec 11 have had their police bail extended again.

Latheefa Koya, one of the lawyers for the activists, told Malaysiakini that the police did not laid any charge against the Bersih 17 today and their bail was subsequently extended for another week to Jan 2, 2008.
“One of the investigating officers told our counsel, Amer Hamzah, about the extension,” said Latheefa.
This is the second of such bail extensions for the 17 – first one was granted on Dec 18 and it expired today.
Latheefa said that the police may need more time to conduct further investigation on the matter.
The 17 Bersih activists include a few key opposition party leaders – PKR information chief Tian Chua (right), PAS treasurer Dr Hatta Ramli and party Women’s chief Nuridah Mohd Salleh and central committee member Dr Lo’Lo’ Ghazali, and Parti Socialist Malaysia pro-tem chairperson Dr Nasir Hashim, secretary-general S Arutchelvan and party central committee member S Sivarajan.
On Dec 11, 26 Bersih members were arrested within the vicinity of Parliament when trying to submit a memorandum to protest the extension of Election Commission chairman’s retirement age through a constitutional amendment.
Nine of them were release unconditionally on the same day while the remaining 17 were let go on a police bail at about 10pm on the same day.
Rare restraining order
Sentul police had obtained a rare court restraining order prohibiting named individuals and “other interested parties” from taking part in a gathering to submit the memorandum. However, no actual gathering took place.
Among the individuals included in the court order were PAS leaders Dr Syed Azman Syed Ahmad Nawawi, Mohamad Sabu and Adenaan Saad and Malaysian Trade Union Congress chief Syed Shahir Syed Mohamud.
All entries to Parliament were closed by the police and roadblocks have been set up around Kuala Lumpur, causing massive traffic jams. Federal Reserve Unit trucks and police personnel have also been positioned along Jalan Parlimen.
Most of those who attempted to get to Parliament were turned away.