PETALING JAYA: The Sessions Court yesterday acquitted and discharged 21 individuals, including an MP and a state executive councillor, on two counts of taking part in an illegal rally and ignoring a police order to disperse, four years ago.
Judge Hayatul Akmal Abdul Aziz reached the decision after concluding that the prosecution had failed to establish a prima facie case against all the accused, aged between 28 and 65.
Among them were Petaling Jaya Utara MP Tony Pua, 40, and Selangor executive councillor Ronnie Liu, 54.
Hayatul Akmal said that based on the evidence, the rally was unplanned and happened spontaneously and, therefore, the accused could not be said to have participated in it. Furthermore, there were conflicting testimonies on the time of the arrests by police witnesses, she added.
The 21 individuals were charged under the Police Act 1967 with taking part in an illegal gathering in front of the Petaling Jaya City Council building on Nov 9, 2008, and failing to disperse after Supt Mohamad Shukor Sulong gave an order to do so at 9.50 pm.
Twenty-one prosecution witnesses testified at the trial. — Bernama