KUALA LUMPUR: Bersih 2.0 chairperson Maria Chin Abdullah and two others were given a discharge not amounting to an acquittal today by the Magistrate’s Court on a charge of participating in the #KitaLawan rally two years ago.
Their lawyer Rajsurian Pillai told this to reporters after attending the case today.
“Today was supposed to be the first day of hearing. However, the deputy public prosecutor failed to attend and this upset the magistrate since the case had prolonged for over two years,” he said.
Besides Maria, the two others who were given a discharge are activist Mandeep Singh and Bayan Baru MP Sim Tze Tzin from PKR.
The trio, along with Jingga 13 activist Fariz Musa, claimed trial on Sept 8, 2015 for a charge under Section 4(2)(c) of the Peaceful Assembly Act (PAA) for participating in the #KitaLawan rally on the afternoon of March 28 that year.
The rally saw thousands of participants gather at Jalan Tun Perak near Dataran Merdeka and march to the Sogo shopping mall on Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman. The rally was called to protest Anwar Ibrahim’s conviction the month before and the then impending implementation of the GST.
Meanwhile, the magistrate also issued a warrant of arrest for Fariz for having failed to show up in court today.
The court set Sept 26 as the next mention for Fariz.
Besides the four, Adam Adli and Rozan Azen Mat Arep, along with PKR assemblymen Chang Lih Kang and Lee Chean Chung, had also claimed trial to joining the rally.
Maria, Mandeep, Adam and Fariz have previously challenged the validity of the PAA at the Federal Court but the apex court refused to hear their case as there were no facts of proceedings from the trial court to decide on the constitutionality of the provision.
The court then ordered the case to go to trial.