25 charged over anti-GST rally in Malaysia

25 charged over anti-GST rally in Malaysia

PETALING JAYA: A group of 25 was charged at the Sessions Court over Monday's anti-GST rally.

Among the charged were PSM central committee member and Sungai Siput MP Dr D. Michael Jeyakumar; its secretary-general S. Arutchelvan and PAS Kuala Krai MP Dr Hatta Ramli.

They were jointly charged with refusing to heed a police order to disperse under Section 21(1)(d) of the Peaceful Assembly Act - which empowers police to order a gathering to disperse if they appear to be committing an offence.

The charge sheet said the group was found to be committing criminal trespass while gathering on the grounds of the Federal Customs headquarters at Jalan SS6/3, Kelana Jaya, at 5pm on March 23.

All 25 claimed trial. Under Section 21(3) of the Peaceful Assembly Act, they face a fine of up to RM20,000(S$7480) if convicted.

DPP Suhaimi Ibrahim acted for the prosecution, while the accused were represented by 11 lawyers.

The court fixed May 14 for next mention.

During the hearing, the Petaling Jaya court complex was filled with supporters, with many seen wearing PSM and PAS shirts.

An increased police presence was also spotted, with some personnel equipped with riot shields.

The supporters dispersed calmly after the 25 were charged, with no untoward incident.

Separately, Persatuan Mahasiswa Universiti Malaya president Mohamad Ammar Atan claimed that during the rally, three university students were arrested.

He also alleged that the three were roughed up.

Mohamad Ammar spoke to reporters after lodging a report at the Dang Wangi police headquarters yesterday.

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