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Peaceful Assembly Act: PKR leaders set to be the first to face charges under new law
KUALA LUMPUR: THREE Parti Keadilan Rakyat leaders, including Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, will earn the dubious honour of being the first to be charged under the newly enforced Peaceful Assembly Act (PAA) 2012 over
their involvement in the Bersih 3.0 rally on April 28.
Anwar, PKR deputy president Azmin Ali and its youth leader, Badrul Hisham Shaharin, are scheduled to appear in the magistrate’s court in Jalan Duta, here, at 9am today.
In confirming this, city police chief Datuk Mohmad Salleh said summonses were served on the three yesterday.
An official from the Attorney-General’s Chambers said they would face two charges each.
They will be charged with violating a court order by taking part in the rally at Dataran Merdeka, a charge under Section 4(2)(c) of the PAA, and with disobeying an order issued by a magistrate prohibiting any gathering at the same venue.
The second charge, under Section 188 of the Penal Code, is for instigating three others — R. Tangam, G. Rajesh Kumar and Farhan Ibrahim @ Alias — to remove the barriers put up by the authorities at Dataran Merdeka.
Under the PAA, the three are liable to fines of up to RM10,000. Under the Penal Code, they are liable to a maximum six months’ jail term or a fine of up to RM2,000, or both.
Azmin, who is also the Gombak member of parliament and Bukit Antarabangsa state assemblyman, said the summonses for Anwar and him were served by a senior police officer at the PKR headquarters in Petaling Jaya.
“We will definitely be in court. We will continue our fight there.” Badrul Hisham, better known as Chegubard, confirmed that he would also be present in court. PKR communications director Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad said several party leaders were expected to be in court today. PKR legal adviser R. Sivarasa will lead the defence team. Anwar, Azmin and Badrul Hisham were among the thousands who took part in the Coalition for Clean and Fair Elections (Bersih) 3.0 rally, which later turned into a riot.
It was alleged that the three were responsible for instigating supporters to break through the barrier at the intersection of Jalan Raja, Jalan Tun Perak and Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman.
After the barrier was breached, police and the Federal Reserve Unit fired tear gas and water cannon to disperse the protesters. Several people have already been charged with violating the court order while two policemen
were also brought before a magistrate on Friday, accused of assaulting a newspaper photographer. Police released 141 photographs of protesters involved in the violence that day and 28 have surrendered.
In Kuala Terengganu, police rounded up four of the suspects yesterday. State police chief Datuk Jamshah Mustapa said three were picked up in Marang and the other in Kemaman by a team from the Bukit Aman federal police
headquarters. Additional reporting by Zarina Abdullah