Hearing draws big crowd at court complex

PUTRAJAYA - A big crowd gathered outside the halls of the Palace of Justice court complex as the people patiently awaited the outcome of the Roman Catholic Church's application in the Herald "Allah" issue.

Spectators, which included lawyers, priests, the media and a big group of Muslim non-governmental organisations, waited outside the court for the decision which was delivered at 3.45pm.

Inside the courtroom, to maintain order during proceedings, court officials handed out entry passes to the public which ran out by 8am yesterday.

Several police officers guarded the door, ensuring only lawyers and those with passes could re-enter the courtroom, even scanning people with a hand-held metal detector.

Court officials occasionally had to shush the crowd when it got too rowdy.

Many local and foreign press jostled for the limited seats in court.

Within minutes of the decision, members of the NGOs exited the courtroom chanting religious slogans and were told to take it outside of the court grounds by policemen.

The smaller group of church supporters remained stoic as Herald editor Rev Father Lawrence Andrew explained that although their application was denied, they would still have another chance in the Court of Appeal on Sept 10.