Published: Tuesday September 18, 2012 MYT 12:00:00 PM
Updated: Wednesday September 19, 2012 MYT 12:59:05 PM
Pua and Liu among 21 acquitted of illegal rally charge
By TERENCE TOH
PETALING JAYA: Twenty-one people, including Petaling Jaya Utara MP Tony Pua and Selangor exco member Ronnie Liu, were acquitted by the Sessions Court here Tuesday on a charge of participating in an illegal rally four years ago.
Judge Hayatul Akmal Abdul Aziz ruled that the 21 defendants could not be said to have been participating in an illegal assembly under the provisions of the Police Act 1967, as based on the evidence, their gathering had been spontaneous and unplanned.
She ruled that mere attendance at a rally was not sufficient to prove participation.
Judge Hayatul also acquitted the 21 defendants of an additional charge of failing to obey orders to disperse issued by police superintendent Mohamad Shukor Sulong.
In her judgement, the judge ruled that the evidence of prosecution witnesses could not be relied upon as there were material contradictions in the time that the orders to disperse were allegedly given.
All 21 defendants were thus acquitted and discharged without having their defence called.
Lawyer Gobind Singh Deo said he was satisfied with the decision of the court, and urged the Attorney-General not to appeal.
The 21 defendants were accused of taking part in an illegal gathering in front of the Petaling Jaya City Council (MBPJ) building on Oct 9, 2008 between 9pm and 10.10pm, and failing to disperse after a police order was given by Supt Mohamad Shukor Sulong at about 9.50pm.
They were charged in the Petaling Jaya Sessions Court on Jan 23, 2009.
The group also included Kampung Tunku state assemblyman Lau Weng San and Petaling Jaya city councillor Tiew Way Keng.