Maria Chin fails in bid to strike out Bersih 4 charge

Maria Chin Abdullah is seen outside the Kuala Lumpur Courts Complex after her challenge to strike out an illegal assembly charge today. — Picture by Choo Choy May
Maria Chin Abdullah is seen outside the Kuala Lumpur Courts Complex after her challenge to strike out an illegal assembly charge today. — Picture by Choo Choy May

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KUALA LUMPUR, April 18 — Bersih 2.0 chairman Maria Chin Abdullah failed today in her bid to  strike out a charge for organising the Bersih 4 overnight public demonstration last year.

High Court Judge Datuk Mohamad Shariff Abu Samah dismissed the application, saying the electoral reform group’s chief failed to notify the Brickfields police 10 days before the rally as required under Section 9(1) of the Peaceful Assembly Act.

"Based on that reason, the application has no merit," he said in his ruling.

He also said the High Court has no power to decide or cancel the previous decision to charge Chin by the Sessions Court.

Chin’s lead lawyer Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan later told reporters the team will appeal against the High Court decision soon.

"We will file an appeal to the Court of Appeal, then we will see how," she said outside the courtroom.

Chin briefly told the reporters that she was "disappointed" with the decision.

Last November, Chin was charged with failing to comply with the requisite 10-day notice to the police before the two-day Bersih 4 rally in August the same year.

If convicted, she can be punished with a maximum RM10,000 fine for non-compliance under Section 9(5) of the Peaceful Assembly Act.

The two-day Bersih 4 rally leading up to Merdeka Day on August 31 had called for Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s resignation from office.

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