Monday, January 6, 2014
Appellate court nullifies 2012 Bersih rally ban
KUALA LUMPUR: The Court of Appeal today cancelled the 2012 magistrate court’s order barring participants of the Bersih rally then from entering Dataran Merdeka here, after deciding that the directive issued was faulty.
Justice Linton Albert, Zakaria Sam and Wong Dak Wah unanimously decided that the order made under Section 98 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CPC) was defective, according to news portal Malaysiakini today.
They were hearing the appeal of PKR deputy president Azmin Ali and Rembau division chief Badrul Hisham Shaharin, better known as Chegubard, challenging the validity of the order.
The two previously applied to dismiss the charges filed against them under the Peaceful Assembly Act 2012 after contending that the order prohibiting entry to Dataran Merdeka, issued under the same law, was beyond what Kuala Lumpur Magistrate Zaki Asyraf was authorised to issue.
Zaki had made the order ahead of the Bersih rally in April 2012, pursuant to an application by the Dang Wangi district police station.
Today’s appeal was over the PKR duo’s earlier bid to have the charges against them dropped, which had been dismissed by the Kuala Lumpur High Court.
Azmin and Badrul Hisham was initially charged along with Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, but PKR de facto leader later filed an individual application to strike out his charge, which was also unsuccessful.
Despite today’s ruling, the prosecution may still appeal the decision to the Federal Court.
Should the prosecution forego its appeal, the duo may then apply anew to have the charges struck out by the Sessions Court.
Lawyer Sankara Nair, who represented Badrul Hisham, said they make a submission to the Attorney-General’s Chambers to discontinue its prosecution.
Anwar, Azmin and Badrul were the first people to be charged under the new assembly law that came into effect just months ahead of the Bersih rally in 2012.--The Malay Mail Online