Malaysia: Accused in Sabah will benefit from Maria Chin verdict

    412

    “I am hoping for a positive outcome,” says former Suhakam Commissioner Jannie Lasimbang, charged with organising Bersih 4 rally in Kota Kinabalu.

    PETALING JAYA: Former Suhakam Commissioner Jannie Lasimbang, who is facing trial for organising the Bersih 4 rally in Kota Kinabalu last year, could be a likely beneficiary of a Court of Appeal ruling.

    The appellate court in Putrajaya yesterday allowed Bersih 4 rally organiser Maria Chin Abdullah’s appeal to strike out a similar charge faced by Lasimbang.

    Lawyer Ambiga Sreenevasan said the implication of the judgment was that Chin need not face trial as the charge had been struck out.

    Chin said Lasimbang would be the recipient of her successful appeal as the lower court in Kota Kinabalu has to follow the ruling of the superior court.

    Lasimbang said she heard about the ruling and would contact her counsel, Ram Singh, tomorrow to discuss the impact of the judgment on her case.

    “I am hoping for a positive outcome,” she told FMT when contacted.

    Meanwhile, lawyer Eric Paulsen said Lasimbang’s counsel would have to bring to the attention of the trial judge on the Court of Appeal’s verdict to have her charge revoked.

    Lasimbang said the prosecution had closed its case after calling 13 witnesses.

    “The prosecution and defence had also made submissions and the magistrate will decide on Sept 15 whether I need to enter defence,” she said.

    Lasimbang is accused of organising a gathering at the Likas Bay public park on Aug 28 and 29 without giving a 10-day notice to Kota Kinabalu City Hall prior to the event.

    In Chin’s case, a three-man bench, led by Tengku Maimun Tuan Mat, which allowed her appeal, said any law, including court judgments, could not be applied retrospectively.

    Ambiga, who appeared with M Puravelan, submitted that Chin could not be charged with an alleged offence that did not exist on Aug 29, 2015, following the Court of Appeal judgment in Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad’s case in April 2014.

    The court had ruled as unconstitutional Section 9(5) of the Peaceful Assembly Act (PAA), that prescribed a fine of RM10,000 against organisers of any rally for failure to give a 10-day notice to the police.

    However, another Court of Appeal bench on Oct 1 last year, in the case of R Yuneswaran, had departed from Nik Nazmi’s case, leading to the existence of two conflicting judgments.

    Chin was charged on Nov 3 last year and the prosecution had depended on the later judgment to secure a conviction.

    Source: FreeMalaysiaToday