Monday, December 10, 2007

People's Freedom Walk (and the subsequent court drama)

People's Freedom Walk - Sunday, 9.12.2007

The Walk organized by the Malaysian Bar was to mark the International Human Rights Day, but was called off due to the strain caused following the number of rallies of late - first the Walk for Justice, then BERSIH, and subsequently Hindraf.

The original plans for the Walk were called off, but nonetheless there was a smaller scale one.. (Part 2 of the Walk) still went on - some booths were set up next to the Bar Council at Jalan Lebuh Pasar Besar.

I was merely passing by when I saw the crowd in front of Bar Council. I had my camera with me.. so I decided to park the car to take some shots.

Following the People's Freedom Walk, 4 lawyers - Amer Hamzah, Sivarasiah, N. Surendran and Latefa Koya; and 4 other members of NGOs were detained. The charges against them are:

(1) being a member of an unlawful assembly intended to cause public nuisance, under the Penal Code (alternate charge: taking part in an unlawful assembly, under the Police Act); and

(2) joining or continuing in an unlawful assembly, knowing that such unlawful assembly has been commanded to disperse, under the Penal Code.

Another lawyer, Edmund Bon was detained on the same day for allegedly obstructing some public servants (DBKL officers) in the discharge of their public functions (of bringing down a banner in front of the Bar Council premises).

The very next day, Monday 10.12.2007, the KL Court (and subsequently the courtroom) was packed - both with people and action. The lawyers, the press, policitians, public figures, and other members of the public were gathered at the court premises.

DAP Leader - Lim Kit Siang

Keadilan Leader - Wan Azizah

The Attorney General, Tan Sri Gani Patail himself appeared in person to prosecute. Sessions Court Judge SM Komathy Suppiah presided over the case. All 9 pleaded not guilty and claimed trial. The Attorney General objected to their bail application. After a 3-hour hearing, their bail application was allowed - the 8 were released on RM2,000 bond while Bon released on RM1,000 bond. It was indeed a very dramatic court scene!

The Court has fixed Jan 28 to 31 to hear the charges against the 8 whilst Bon's case will be tried from March 3 to 5.

No cameras allowed in the courtroom though, so sorry.. no pics of the real action.

Former Bar Council President - Yeo Yang Poh (right)

Lim Kit Siang & the mother of
Edmund Bon.

The reporters interviewing Lim Kit Siang.

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