Maria Chin and Two Others Hit with Same 2015 Rally Charge

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Just over a month ago, they were freed of the charge for participating in the  #KitaLawan rally in 2015, now they are slapped with the exact charge again.

Ida Lim/MMO

Bersih 2.0 chief Maria Chin Abdullah, Bersih 2.0 secretariat manager Mandeep Singh and PKR’s Bayan Baru MP Sim Tze Tzin pleaded not guilty after the charge was read out to them.

Magistrate Ahmad Solihin Abd Wahid fixed bail for all three at RM500 each, the same amount that they posted previously.

The court fixed Nov 3 as the next mention date.

The trio, along with Jingga 13 coordinator Fariz Musa, were previously charged on Sept 8, 2015, under Section 4(2)(c) of the Peaceful Assembly Act for allegedly taking part in a street protest, which is punishable with a maximum RM10,000 fine.

The four were accused of participating in the #KitaLawan rally from 3.15pm to 6pm on Mar 28, 2015.

Thousands of people turned up for the rally which was called to protest Anwar Ibrahim’s conviction the month before and the then-impending implementation of the GST. The participants gathered at Jalan Tun Perak, near Dataran Merdeka, and marched to the Sogo shopping mall on Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman.

On Aug 28, a magistrates’ court issued the trio a discharge not amounting to acquittal (DNAA), which 8is not an exoneration and the prosecution may subsequently re-initiate proceedings.

Fariz was partially discharged on Sept 26 after his lawyer sent a letter of representation to the Attorney-General’s Chambers to request for the dropping of the charge.

Mandeep told FMT That charging them again was an abuse of the judiciary.

“We were given a discharge on Aug 28 because the deputy public prosecutor did not attend the first day of trial.

“Because of their failure, we became victims of an unjust system,” Mandeep said.

He added that they would not be cowed and would contest the charges.

Apart from the trio, activists Adam Adli and Rozan Azen Mat Arep and PKR assemblymen, Chang Lih Kang and Lee Chean Chung, had also claimed trial on a similar charge.