Bersih 2.0 chairman Maria Chin Abdullah pleaded not guilty to a charge of failing to give notice for the Bersih 4 rally at the Kuala Lumpur Sessions Court today.
BY MELATI A. JALIL
Published: 3 November 2015 11:18 AM | Updated: 3 November 2015 3:23 PM
She was charged under Section 9(1) of the Peaceful Assembly Act (PAA) for failing to give notice of the assembly to the police ten days in advance and is liable to a maximum fine of RM10,000 under Section 9(5) upon conviction.
Judge Mat Ghani Abdullah set bail of RM5,000 without deposit. He also set trial date on December 11.
Maria is accused of failing to give notice for the 34-hour rally from August 29 to 30 in the capital Kuala Lumpur which called for democratic reforms and Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s resignation over alleged financial scandals.
One of her lawyers, Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan, argued that bail was unnecessary after deputy public prosecutor Wan Shaharuddin Wan Ladin asked for RM5,000 bail.
“Maria has no intention of going anywhere and she will stay to fight this.
“The matter of bail should not apply to this case and I ask that no bail apply here as there is no grounds for it,” she said, adding that Maria was not a flight risk and had always cooperated with the authorities.
Met outside the court room later, Maria told reporters that the charge should be dropped as Bersih 4 was held after the Court of Appeal’s ruling in PKR’s Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad’s case, which nullified the ten-day notice requirement.
“This charge is actually unconstitutional.
“That (the Court of Appeal’s) decision is still valid because the Court of Appeal made the ten-day notice null and void, and that should still stand because we had the Bersih 4 rally at that material time when that ten-day notice was null and void,” Maria said.
Nik Nazmi was previously acquitted of the same charge after following the Court of Appeal’s ruling then, that the section which provides for a 10-day notice period before any public assembly was unconstitutional.
However, he was charged for the third time in October under the Peaceful Assembly Act (PAA) for failing to provide prior notice for the Black 505 rally in 2013. – November 3, 2015.