Anti-ISA vigil: 21 charged with illegal assembly

Jan 23, 09 11:00am


Twenty-one people were charged with illegal assembly at the Petaling Jaya magistrate’s court this morning.

They also faced a second charge of failing to adhere to a police order to disperse.

The group, which included one member of parliament and two state assemblypersons, was accused of committing the offences during an anti-ISA vigil at the MBPJ compound in Petaling Jaya from 9pm to 10.10pm on Oct 9 last year.

They were charged under Section 27 of the Police Act (for both the offences) and face a possible fine of between RM2,000 and RM10,000 and/or a jail term of not more than one year for each charge.

They were represented by Gobind Singh while prosecuting was done by deputy public prosecutor Noordin Badaruddin.

Among those charged include Petaling Jaya Utara MP Tony Pua, Selangor Exco Ronnie Liu, kampong Tunku state assemblyperson Lau Weng San and MBPJ councillor Tiew Way Keng.

Catholic priest Paulino Miranda was also one of the 21 charged.

Some 70 people also turned up at the court this morning to support the 21. They include six priests, Bar Council chairperson S Ambiga, DAP MP for Segambut Lim Lip Eng and popular blogger Raja Petra Kamarudin.

‘They’re not dangerous’

Ambiga told reporters that the attorney-general should drop the charges and put in efforts into prosecuting real crimes and not on people exercising freedom of expression.

“These people are not dangerous,” she said.

In court, magistrate Rozina Ayob allowed a bail of RM1,500 each and fixed March 10 to mention the case for trial.

The DPP earlier sought for a bail of RM5,000 be imposed on the accused persons. She also wanted them to surrender their travel documents to the court.

Defence counsel Gobind objected to these, submitting that the court should instead impose a personal bond on the 21, failing which a bail of RM500 was sufficient.

Rozina also ruled that it was not necessary for the accused persons to surrender their travel documents.

[Full report to follow]

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