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Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Bersih 1.0: Mat Sabu, Tian Chua told to enter defence

The Kuala Lumpur High Court today overturned an acquittal order made by the Sessions Court and ordered 16 people including PAS deputy president Mohamad Sabu, better known as Mat Sabu, and Batu MP Tian Chua to enter their defence.

Another lawmaker among the 16 is Independent Padang Serai MP N Gobalakrishnan.

bersih protest 150208Justice Ghazali Cha found that there is a prima facie case against them over their participation in the Bersih rally in 2007.

“I am of the view the video evidence is a good way to support the oral testimony given by the police. The witnesses did not create stories in giving evidence and the trial judge did not take into consideration that the participants have common knowledge.

“The common knowledge is that they are participating in an illegal assembly. The participants were wearing yellow and red T-shirts and a positive identification of them were made (by the authorities), where the rally had resulted in uneasiness and disruption of traffic.”

Hence, the court felt the prosecution had proven a prima facie case against them and they are ordered to enter their defence.

bersih rally 101107 fru water cannon masjid jamekJustice Ghazali ordered that their defence be heard by the presiding trial judge who ordered their acquittal at the Sessions Court, that is Judge Jagjit Singh Bant Singh.

Seventeen people had been charged over the November 2007 rally but one of them, Mohd Asri Ahmad, had passed away last year.

In the dock were Mohd Salim Yeslam, 27, Ahmad Razali Abd Rahman, 55, Razali Abdul, 39, Muhd Harith Fatillah Shahabudin, 29, Saleh Mohamad Tahir, 52, Azahar Yusop, 48, Sulaiman Ahmad, 62, Taib Abdullah, 38, Mohd Abi Salam Ariffin, 30, Ishak Othman, 38, and Mohd Zad Abdullah, 44.

The two others were juveniles from Kedah.

fru sultan abdul samad kuala lumpur bersih 101107All of them were charged by attorney-general Abdul Gani Patail, who appeared personally, with unlawful assembly at several places, including the National Mosque compound, Jalan Istana, Jalan Raja Laut and the vicinity of the Sogo departmental store on Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman, between 1pm and 4pm on Nov 10, 2007.

The accused were represented by Jason Tay and Nasar Khan Mirbas Khan, while DPP Mohd Farizul Hassan Bakri appeared for the prosecution.

Sessions Court: No evidence

Sessions judge Jagjit Singh had on Nov 19, 2010, acquitted Mat Sabu and the others as they had been given permission by the police to hand over the memorandum to the palace.

“There is no question of illegal assembly. In fact, evidence showed they had dispersed peacefully after that,” Jagjit had said.

bersih rally istana negara tv 101107 large crowdOn Gobalakrishnan, who was arrested with several others on Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman, the judge said the court found the evidence of the arresting officers unsatisfactory and he doubted their credibility.

“There is no evidence to show if they were in the assembly, or whether they had just arrived there or if they were just bystanders,” said the judge.

On the arrests at the National Mosque, Jagjit ruled those accused had every right to be there as it is a place of worship for Muslims.

“They have the right to worship as this is protected under Article 11 of the federal constitution. They cannot be stopped from being at a place of worship just because they wore yellow Bersih T-shirts,” the Sessions judge ruled in acquitting all 17.

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