KUALA LUMPUR: The Bersih 3.0 rally, organised by the Coalition for Free and Fair Elections (Bersih 2.0) in 2012, was a ploy to topple the government, the High Court was told today.
Former Inspector-General of Police (IGP) Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar said this could be seen through how the organisers carried out the street gathering on April 28, 2012, which was not in accordance with the Peaceful Assembly Act.
Khalid, who was the IGP at the time, said the rally, initially aimed at highlighting the need for clean elections had turned rowdy and resulted in damage of government properties and fights.
He was testifying as a witness during the trial of Bersih 2.0 chairman Maria Chin Abdullah's suit against Red Shirts leader Datuk Jamal Md Yunos, for linking the Bersih 2.0 with the Islamic State terror group.
"It was clear that the purpose of the gathering was to bring down the government through other means.
"Throughout the rally, things went out of control and the gathering which was said to be held peacefully was not so," he said during examination-in-chief by Jamal's lawyer Mohammed Nasser Yusof.
Khalid also testified that the commotion occurred because the organisers had failed to control the situation and often refused to abide by the law as advised by the authorities.
When asked by Nasser on whether Maria has ever been detained under the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012 (Sosma), Khalid said police had solid evidence to detain her under the Act as there were information that the gathering had received financial assistance from outside.
Meanwhile, when asked by Maria's counsel N. Surendran on whether there was evidence showing that Bersih 3.0 was organised to bring down the government, Khalid said the action of gathering and inciting the public pointed towards that (to bring down government).
"That is not the way to express wish for a free and fair election in the country. Not by making fiery speeches in the streets," he said.
Khalid, in his testimony, denied that the gathering was held properly and peacefully.
"There were threats to the public order but police managed to handle the situation," he said.
Trial continues tomorrow before judge Datuk Mohd Zaki Abdul Wahab.
Maria, 60, filed a lawsuit against Jamal on Oct 7, 2016, for alleging that the electoral watchdog had been infiltrated by the terrorist group.
She claimed that Jamal, who is also Sungai Besar Umno division chief had allegedly uttered the defamatory statements on two occasions.
The first instance allegedly occurred outside Putra World Trade Centre (PWTC) on Sept 28, 2016, while the second was at the federal police headquarters in Bukit Aman on Oct 4, the same year.
She claimed that the defamatory words, which were published in newspapers and online news portals, implied that she was abetting the terrorist group and was an agent of IS.