The prosecution in the Peaceful Assembly Act trial against Anwar Ibrahim made an about-turn in the sessions court in Kuala Lumpur today and dropped its objection to the opposition leader's application that the High Court hears a constitutional question on his charge.
The application was made on one of the three charges
against Anwar that he faces related to the Bersih 3.0 rally on April 28
Anwar has also applied to the sessions court to strike out the other two charges against him under the Penal Code.
Head of prosecution at the Attorney-General's Chambers Abdul Wahab
Mohamad said the prosecution was withdrawing the initial objection it
raised to the Permatang Pauh MP's application during the last hearing.
"After doing some reference on the application, we withdraw the
objection and agree that the matter be referred to the High Court,"
Abdul Wahab told sessions judge Mahmud Abdullah.
Also in the prosecution team with Abdul Wahab are deputy public prosecutors Mohd Hanafiah Zakaria and Ishak Mohd Yusof.
Anwar, through his lawyer Karpal Singh, had on Sept 3 applied for
the PAA charge against him to be heard before the High Court, arguing
that Section 4(1) (c) of the PAA conflicted with Article 10 (1) of the
federal constitution on the freedom of assembly.
was because the charge against Anwar involved his constitutional right
to assemble freely and since the interpretation of matters related to
the federal constitution were involved, the matter should be heard by
the High Court, since the lower courts have no jurisdiction to interpret
PKR deputy president and Gombak MP Azmin Ali
also filed similar applications to strike out the same charges against
him, on Tuesday and today.
Azmin's lawyers CV Prabhakaran and
Gurcharan Singh indicated that besides the striking out applications,
they also adopted Karpal's arguments on the constitutionality issue and
want the matter heard by the High Court.
Meanwhile, K Murali
Dharan, lawyer for the third accused, former PKR supreme council member
Badrul Hisham Shahrin, who is also known as Chegubard, told the sessions
judge that they were withdrawing the two applications filed in the court on Tuesday.
Murali said they would file the applications afresh before the High Court.
Oct 31 hearing of Penal Code charges
Abdul Wahab then said following Azmin's applications, which were only
served on the prosecution today, they have to reply via an affidavit.
"Following this, we apply for another date for a hearing on the
defendants' applications to strike out the Penal Code charges," he said.
Earlier, sessions judge Mahmud questioned whether he had inherent
powers to review magistrate Zaki Asyraf Zubir's April 26 order barring
people from gathering in the vicinity of Dataran Merdeka for the Bersih
3.0 gathering of April 28.
Prabhakaran and Abdul Wahab said the
court has the power to hear the matter and following this, Mahmud fixed
Oct 31 for hearing of the applications on the Penal Code charges.
Azmin and Badrul Hisham are charged with violating Section 4 (2)(c) of
the PAA by taking part in the Bersih 3.0 rally and thereby, between
2.30pm and 3pm on April 28, violated the court order issued by
If found guilty on the first charge, all three are liable to a maximum fine of RM10,000 each.
also face a second charge under Section 188 of the Penal Code, for
breaching the magistrate's order by conspiring with Rasah PKR division
deputy head R Tangam, lawyer G Rajesh Kumar and van driver Farhan
Ibrahim @ Alias by inciting them to breach the barricades surrounding
Dataran Merdeka, which ‘could have caused a riot or clashes'.
If convicted, under this section, they will face a maximum jail term of one month or a fine of RM2,000 or both.
The third charge against the three is on abetting in rioting under
Section 147 of the Penal Code, by inciting the others to break the
barricades at Dataran Merdeka. If convicted under this section, Anwar,
Azmin and Badrul Hisham will face a two-year jail term or a fine or
Post a Comment