Tuesday 18 September 2012

Court clears 21, including DAP’s Pua and Catholic priest, in Bersih vigil case

Sep 18, 2012

PETALING JAYA, Sept 18 — Twenty-one people, including several opposition lawmakers and a Catholic priest, were acquitted by a Sessions Court today for taking part in a Bersih anniversary candlelight vigil held four years ago.

Sessions Court judge Hayatul Akmal ruled this morning that the prosecution had failed to prove a prima facie case against the individuals, who were earlier charged with participating in an “illegal assembly” under the now-repealed section 27 of the Police Act.

Speaking to reporters outside the courtroom here, lawyer and DAP MP Gobind Singh Deo urged the prosecution not to appeal the matter to a higher court.

“The prosecution clearly did not have strong evidence to prove that the organisers had committed any wrong. Therefore, I hope the Attorney-General’s Chambers will not appeal the matter.

“This is a great victory for us, particularly since this case has been going on for almost three years now,” said the Puchong MP.

The 21, including Catholic priest Rev Father Paulino Miranda, Petaling Jaya Utara MP Tony Pua, Selangor DAP state assemblymen Ronnie Liu and Lau Weng San, and Petaling Jaya city councillor Tiew Way Keng, were charged with taking part in an illegal assembly in front of the Petaling Jaya City Council (MBPJ) building on October 9, 2008 between 9pm and 10.10pm.

They were accused of refusing a police order to disperse under section 27(5)(a) and section 27(4) of the Police Act 1967 which has since been amended and replaced with a new law allowing for peaceful public rallies.


No comments:

Post a Comment