Thursday, February 25, 2016

Court dismisses PKR MP’s appeal against ‘Blackout 505’ charge

The High Court today dismissed Bukit Katil MP Shamsul Iskandar Mohd Akin's application to set aside the charge against him. The accused, 40, is charged with participating in an illegal "Blackout 505" rally near a mosque. Justice Datuk Azman Abdullah said in his ruling that the Peaceful Assembly Act prohibited any rally, "even a peaceful one", to be held within 50m of a place of worship. He said the restriction was consistent with provisions in the constitution. The judge added that the sanctity of places of worship must be preserved, "even for a thousand years". "If a place of worship is allowed to be used for a rally, what happens if those who participate are wearing clothes that do not cover their aurat? "Whether we are of religion A, B or C, or race A, B or C, or politically A, B or C, we must be sensitive when it comes to our respective places of worship," he said. Shamsul Iskandar's counsel Yusmadi Yusoff said he would appeal against the decision. The accused who is also a PKR vice-president filed the application to drop the charge on March 31, 2014, saying it was flawed, defective and did not satisfy the requirements of a "prohibited place". He said the charge was also an abuse of the court process and a travesty of justice. He added that the charge was politically motivated, a selective prosecution, done with malicious intent and jeopardised the rule of law. On August 5, 2013, Shamsul Iskandar who is also Angkatan Muda PKR chief with youth deputy chief Khairul Anuar Ahmad Zainuddin, 36 and youth vice chief Mohd Nazree Mohd Yunus, 29, claimed trial to the charge. They allegedly committed the offence at Masjid Ar-Rahman, Universiti Malaya, between noon and 1.15pm on June 22, 2013. The charge under Section 4(2)(b) of the Peaceful Assembly Act 2012 carries a maximum fine of RM20,000 upon conviction. Deputy public prosecutor Mohamad Mustaffa P. Kunyalam represented the prosecution. – Bernama, February 26, 2016.]]>

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