Former IGP: Bersih rally was anti-government

Khalid said that Maria, as the head of the organisers, had been unable to control the participants. — Picture by Kamles Kumar
Khalid said that Maria, as the head of the organisers, had been unable to control the participants. — Picture by Kamles Kumar

KUALA LUMPUR, March 7 — The 2012 Bersih 3.0 rally was organised with the intention to overthrow the Barisan Nasional government,  Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar claimed in court today.

The former Inspector-General of Police was testifying in the defamation lawsuit filed by former Bersih 2.0 chairman Maria Chin Abdullah against Umno's Datuk Seri Jamal Yunos.

“The rally was marred with chaos, instances of assault and violence as well as destruction and vandalism of government properties.

“The assembly which was said to be peaceful was not conducted in a peaceful manner,” Khalid said when questioned by the defendant’s lawyer Mohammed Nasser Yusof.

He cited the damage to several police patrol vehicles by rally goers to support his testimony.

Khalid added that Maria, as the head of the organisers, had been unable to control the participants.

“The 2012 rally organisers had refused to obey the laws under the Peaceful Assembly Act 2012 and refused to abide by police orders.

"They have the right to conduct a peaceful gathering to demand for free elections, but taking the streets to protest was to bring down the government," he said.

When Maria's lawyer, N. Surendran, asked if the rally was largely peaceful, Khalid insisted that this was only because of proactive police action.

He also told the court that Maria was detained using the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act  in 2015 after police received information that Bersih 2.0 received foreign funding.

When asked about the outcome of the investigation into the foreign funding, Khalid said he has since retired and was not apprised of the status.

Maria sued Jamal on Oct 7, 2016 after he alleged that Bersih 2.0 was infiltrated by the Islamic State (IS) and accused the polls watchdog of plotting to surround two international airports and key government buildings.

Former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad is set to testify in the case before before High Court judge Datuk Mohd Zaki Abdul Wahab at 2.15pm.

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