KUALA LUMPUR: A group of 33 activists who had gathered outside Parliament on June 24 were charged with illegal assembly at the Kuala
Lumpur Sessions Court yesterday.
They were accused of causing a public nuisance under Section 143 of the Penal Code, and 17 of them were also charged with rioting under Section
147 of the same Act.
Among them were activists Badrul Hisham Shaharin and Annie Ooi Siew Lan, better known as Chegubard and Auntie Bersih.
The 33, who were among hundreds of Blackout 505 rally participants, were arrested and investigated following a scuffle with the police near Parliament.
The students and activists had gathered there to hand over a memorandum to members of Parliament who were being sworn in for the first term of the
13th Parliament on that day.
Some of the 33 charged yesterday, who are aged between 19 and 74 years, had earlier camped at Padang Merbok after the Blackout 505 rally finale on
June 22. The rally was held to protest against alleged irregularities in the 13th general election results.
All the accused were charged with causing a public nuisance by assembling on the road leading to Parliament between 9.15am and 11.25am on June 24,
and may face a prison term of up to six months and a fine or both.
Those charged with rioting could be punished with a jail term not exceeding two years or a fine or both.
Deputy public prosecutor Faizah Mohd Salleh asked for bail to be set at RM10,000 for both offences, arguing that the crime committed was serious
and had caused “great difficulty to the public”.
However, defence counsel, Eric Paulsen, Razlan Jamaluddin and PG Cyril, representing the accused, rejected the “exorbitant sum”, noting that the
charge was “politically motivated” and “punitive”.
Judge Mat Ghani Abdullah fixed bail at RM2,000 for both charges with one surety each and fixed Aug 19 for case mention.
Pathma Subramaniam, The Edge