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Feb 2, 2008


Hindraf hearing postponed to March 4
Maria J.Dass

SHAH ALAM (Feb 1, 2008): The joint trial of 66 protesters who took part in the illegal Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf) rally last Nov 25 was today postponed to March 4.

Sessions court judge Azimah Omar set the date after the defence team said that they needed to make a representation to the Attorney-General (A-G) first.

However defence counsel G.K.Ganeson declined to comment on the representation and when it would be held.

The court was packed by 10am with all the accused, their families and journalists. The families were then requested to leave the court room as there were insufficient seats for everyone.

The accused occupied most of the court area, 10 of them stood in the dock, some were seated behind the lawyers and the rest in two rows of the public gallery.

The third row was occupied by reporters. A total 69 protesters were arrested at the illegal assembly. Of these, 66 are being charged with taking part in an unlawful assembly as stipulated in Section 27(5) of the Police Act and 149 of the Penal Code.

Of the 66, a total 64 of the protestors also face charges under Section 440 of the Penal Code for committing mischief.

Charges against three of five students who were among the 69 initially arrested were dropped by the A-G on Dec 17. Two of the five students, however, still face charges for illegal assembly.

On Dec 17, the A-G also dropped the attempted murder charge against the 31 protesters who took part in the illegal rally.

Of the 66 protesters charged, 26 have pleaded guilty to charges for causing mischief and participating in an illegal assembly, while the rest claimed trial.

They face up to five years imprisonment for the Section 440 charge and were also liable to a jail sentence of up to a year and maximum RM10, 000 fine for the illegal assembly charge.

On Dec 27, A-G’s chambers head of prosecution Datuk Yusof Zainal Abiden asked for more time to transfer the cases of those charged in Selayang to Shah Alam, as this had to be done for the charges against the Hindraf supporters in both courts to be consolidated.

Those charged in Selayang had only been charged with illegal assembly. They were produced in court today to face the additional charge of causing mischief.


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