GOMBAK, Malaysia - Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar on Wednesday slammed the lawyer for defending one of the accused in Sunday's Low Yat Plaza brawl.
Khalid said those involved in the race-provoked scuffle were now seen to be shrugging their responsibility after being accused of the wrong doing.
On Tuesday, lawyer Mohd Khairul Azam Abdul Aziz accused the police chief of "lying" about the case by claiming that his client was not present during the alleged theft at the plaza or had made up stories.
Khalid said those in the wrong can say whatever they want but that would not change the crimes that had been committed.
"That is the problem, isn't it? People who have been arrested can say whatever they want to take the blame off them.
"So if people want to believe the words of those who have been charged in court ...go ahead!" Khalid told reporters.
As for Khairul Azam's criticisms, Khalid said he was not a "smart lawyer".
"He has other motives, not good ones. A smart lawyer would not do this.
"I invite the media to come to the station to interview those we arrested. Of course they will say they are innocent and the police are wrong," he said.
Police arrested 26 people in connection with the Low Yat Plaza brawl on Saturday and Sunday night, which left seven people injured.
Shahrul Anuar Abdul Aziz, 22, has claimed trial at a Magistrate's court to a charge of stealing a Lenovo phone S860 worth RM800 (S$290) from a shop in in plaza.
He was charged under Section 380 of the Penal Code for theft which is punishable with a jail term of up to 10 years, a fine or caning.