The trio are accused of abetting in the breaching of the barricades at the Bersih 3.0 rally near Dataran Merdeka on April 28.
KUALA LUMPUR: PKR de-facto leader Anwar Ibrahim, party deputy president Azmin Ali and PKR supreme council member Badrul Hisyam Shaharin have been charged with abetting in the breaking of the barricades at the Bersih 3.0 rally, near Dataran Merdeka on April 28, this year.
This would be the third charge levelled against the trio, who had already been charged with participating in an illegal rally and violating a court order.
The three were one of the first few to be charged under the recently-passed Peaceful Assembly Act.
On May 22, the three were charged under section 4(2)(c) of the new law for participating in the rally and violating a court order between 2.30pm and 3pm on April 28.
The court order, issued by magistrate Zaki Asyraf Zubir on April 26, prohibited the Bersih gathering at Dataran Merdeka and surrounding roads leading to the historic site.
If found guilty, they are liable to a maximum fine of RM10,000, which could result in Anwar and Azmin losing their Member of Parliament status if the fine exceeds RM2,000.
The trio have also been charged under section 188 of the Penal Code for breaching the magistrate’s court order.
They are also said to have conspired with Rasah PKR division deputy head R Tangam, lawyer G Rajesh Kumar and van driver Farhan Ibrahim @ Alias by inciting them to breach the barricade surrounding Dataran Merdeka, which “could have caused a riot or clashes”.
If convicted, they are liable to a maximum jail term of one month or fine of RM2,000, or both.
The three pleaded not guilty to the three charges.
The court has set Sept 3 for mention.
In an immediate reaction, Anwar said this was yet another instance of political persecution.
He also claimed that this is an unending political suppression toward him, and this is “crazy” (gila).
The trio were charged with having a mutual intention in abetting other PKR members – Tangam Raju, Rajesh Kumar Gejinder and Farhan Ibrahim – and more than five Bersih 3.0 protesters to violate the court order and causing the latter to act violently in the rally.
Joint trial for trio
If found guilty, they are liable to a maximum jail term of two years and a fine, or both.
The mention date for the case involving Rajesh, Tangam and Farhan, was today but the prosecution, led by deputy public prosecutor Abdul Wahab Mohamad, applied for a joint trial for Anwar and five others.
Karpal Singh, who is Anwar’s counsel, told the court he needed time to file the affidavit-in-reply as the prosecution had filed 30 affidavits in response to Anwar’s application to strike out two other charges brought against him on May 22.
Karpal also informed the court that he needed two weeks to amend the application to include striking out the new charge.
The judge also fixed Sept 3 to hear the application to strike the new charge out as well as the preliminary objection filed against Anwar’s strike-out applications.
Azmin’s counsel CV Prabhakaran also informed the court his client may wish to file the same application if the striking-out hearing favours Anwar.
He said if the court allows Anwar’s application, then Azmin should be acquitted as well.
Meanwhile, Farhan through his lawyer Shamsul Iskandar Akin, applied for “marriage leave”, to be exempted from attending the next mention hearing as he is going to marry on Sept 2.
The court also allowed Rajesh to be absent from court on that day as he needs to attend another case.