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4 theSun | TUESDAY NOVEMBER 25 2008

news without borders

23 arrested at vigil ‘freed without bail’

by Charles Ramendran
and Giam Say Khoon
gathered near the British High Commis-
sion early on Sunday.
Sunday, calling it selective persecution.
Bar Council President Ambiga Sree-
legitimately exercising their rights as
citizens to express their views and
Ambiga said such intimidation must
stop and the authorities should even- “We are not asking the police to ar- nevasan said in a statement that two freedom to assemble as enshrined in handedly protect and uphold the rights
rest them. We are just saying if you did groups of people, one in support of the the Federal Constitution but the police of all citizens.
PETALING JAYA: The 23 people on not take action by arresting them, then ISA and the other against it, had held had targeted only one group – those Amnesty International Malaysia’s
police bail following their detention for do not arrest us when we gather. Only two assemblies at different times near who opposed the ISA. executive director Nora Murat, who
taking part in an unlawful assembly in then will it be fair. The police should not the Jalan Tun Razak police station and She said nine people were arrested echoed similar views over the incidents,
PJ New Town on Nov 6 were unexpect- practise double standard,” he said. Pandan Indah respectively. and such high-handedness went against urged police to respect the freedom of
edly released without bond when they Nine people, including several She said those who took part were democratic norms. expression each citizen is entitled to.
reported to police yesterday. political leaders, detained by police on
The 23, who included elected repre- Sunday night for taking part in an illegal
sentatives and a Catholic priest, were assembly to protest against the ISA at
among 300 people who took part in a Dataran Ampang Jaya in Pandan Indah,
gathering to commemorate the first have since been freed on police bail.
anniversary of a rally by the Coalition Selangor police chief Datuk Khalid
for Clean and Fair Elections (Bersih) and Abu Bakar said they were freed at about
to oppose the Internal Security Act. 3am yesterday after their statements
Petaling Jaya deputy police chief were recorded.
Supt Shukor Sulong said their police Among those held were PAS vice-
bail was not extended but they were president Mohamad Sabu, PAS Youth
freed without bond as police have not chief Salahuddin Ayub, FT PAS Youth
received instructions from the Attor- chief Kamarulzaman Mohammad,
ney-General’s Chambers on whether to Selangor PAS Youth information chief
prefer charges against them. Mohd Sani Hamzan and FT PAS welfare
State executive councillor Ronnie unit chief Saifudin Abdullah.
Liu, who is one of the 23, said police Salahuddin told reporters they had
had told them on Sunday to turn up at been asked to report back to the police
the Petaling Jaya district police head- station on Dec 8 to see if they will be
quarters yesterday. charged.
Liu said he and 20 others, including He said a gathering will be held soon
Kampung Tunku assemblyman Lau Weng at the Selayang stadium to replace the
San and Petaling Jaya Utara MP Tony Pua, rally on Sunday night.
had arrived at 9am, and barely spent 10 He also announced that a large-scale
minutes with the investigating officer rally, similar to the one organised by Ber-
who informed them they could leave sih last year, which involved thousands
without an extension on their bail. of people, will be held in mid-March
He said two others did not turn up before the Umno general assembly to
yesterday as they were in Penang. call for the abolition of the ISA.
Liu said the police were being unfair Meanwhile, the Bar Council hit out Twenty of the people detained
and partial as they had not taken any at the police yesterday for disrupting a at the vigil, including (from
action against a group of protesters peaceful assembly opposing the Inter- second left) Lau, Pua and Liu,
comprising Umno supporters who had nal Security Act (ISA) in Ampang Jaya on gather outside the Petaling Jaya
district police headquarters.

‘Order to transfer RPK’s case illegal’

by S. Tamarai Chelvi is unconstitutional, in that it ting the three offences at Civil breaches the equality provisions High Court on the fourth floor
of article 8 (1) of the Federal of the Court Complex on Jalan
KUALA LUMPUR: A mag- Constitution that ‘all persons are Duta here on June 18.
istrate’s order to transfer the equal before the law’,” he said. Manjeet said that on Nov 20,
case of Raja Petra Kamarud- Manjeet said that in the Raja Petra’ s lawyer had sent
din (RPK), charged with three magistrate’s court, an accused a subpoena to two defence
counts of defamation, to the can fined to a maximum of witnesses, Chief Insp Azilah
sessions court is void, illegal RM10,000, while in a sessions Hadri and Cpl Sirul Azhar Umar,
and contrary to the law, defence court, a fine of RM1 million can who had been called to enter
lawyer Manjeet Singh Dhillon be imposed. their defence in the Altantuya
argued yesterday. “Where is the equality be- Shariibuu murder trial.
He said the order, made by fore the law?” he asked. Saying he has a genuine
a magistrate on Aug 15, is con- He submitted that the ses- concern that subjudice or con-
trary to the provision of section sions court has two options: flict may arise as the accused
177 of the Criminal Procedure » make an order for the case from one case will be giving
Code. to be sent back to the magis- evidence in another case, he
Manjeet said the section trate’s court to be heard in line urged the court to consider
does not permit the transfer of with statutory jurisdiction of postponing the case until the
a case by a magistrate’s court that court, or completion of the Altantuya
to the sessions court, where » order a stay of the proceed- murder trial.
the case is properly before the ings and transmit the record to Deputy public prosecutor
statutory jurisdiction of the the High Court. Anselm Fernandis said the ap-
magistrate’s court. Raja Petra is charged with plication was “premature” as the
He said there was no ground defaming Datin Seri Rosmah prosecution case has not begun
of “public interest” in section 177. Mansor and acting Kol Abdul and the prosecution witnesses
“The said order of the magis- Aziz Buyong and his wife Kol have not testified yet.
trate, exposing the accused to an Norhayati Hassan in his statu- Fernandis will submit before
unequal potentially higher pun- tory declaration. judge Datuk Mohamad Sekeri
ishment (in the sessions court) He is charged with commit- Mamat today on both issues.

PKR Youth to increase membership

by Tim Leonard doesn’t mean we are not going to achieve our objective. We trust in the leadership of Anwar
Ibrahim to make it possible and Pakatan Rakyat
PETALING JAYA: The Parti already has five states (under its control) now,”
Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) Youth he said.
national congress this week- Shamsul Iskandar said the wing is confident
end will address the issue of of recruiting two million members for the next
why the Pakatan Rakyat coalition general election in 2012.
failed to achieve its objective of forming the “We have 200,000 members now and we
federal government by Sept 16. are on target to have 500,000 members by the
Its chief, Shamsul Iskandar Mohd Akin (pix), end of next year,” he said.
said they will explain, “especially to those who PKR Youth is expected to table three resolu-
had become disillusioned after the missed date”, tions, on the party, politics and the economy.
the technicality involved in forming a new govern- Shamsul Iskandar said the congress is also
ment and why the initial plans are on hold. expected to discuss pledges made by Pakatan
He said the movement’s main objective now Rakyat in its election manifesto, including
is to recruit more members and to work harder that on a minimum wage of RM1,500 a month,
to achieve victory. unemployment and retrenchment among
“The day (Sept 16) came and went, but that youths.