Nazri: Free Anwar rally an attempt to influence the court
The minister in the prime minister’s department said that he disagreed with the police’s decision to allow the assembly to take place.
“This is something that has never been done before in any other country, where people assemble and protest against a court which is about to make a decision. To me it is an attempt to influence the court to make a decision to favour Anwar.
“You cannot allow popularity to exist in our legal system because what will happen is that those who are popular will never get convicted by the court,” the de facto law minister was quoted as saying by The Star.
PKR deputy president Azmin Ali is leading a march tomorrow which he says will amass over 100,000 people in support of the party’s de facto leader.
The Gombak MP rejected conditions set by police for the public rally claiming they were only outlined after the party had obtained police permission.
But Inspector General of Police Tan Sri Ismail Omar insisted organisers must abide by 10 conditions set out by Sentul police, stating that “police will be firm and act on those that do not meet conditions.”
Sentul police had issued 10 conditions on Friday night, barring participants supporting Opposition Leader Anwar from “making noise” and disallowing any speeches from being made.
The conditions also bar participants from carrying any banners to support the Permatang Pauh MP at the gathering which is being held as the High Court here delivers its verdict in the highly-charged Sodomy II trial.
The police had met a PKR delegation Friday morning before deciding to allow the rally to go ahead in the parking area of the Jalan Duta court complex.
No conditions were mentioned by Kuala Lumpur police chief Datuk Mohmad Salleh during a brief, joint press conference with PKR after their meeting.
PKR leaders have also said no conditions were set during the meeting.
But Sentul police issued the conditions yesterday evening after “considering safety and public order factors.”
Among the other conditions are that the public must disperse one hour after the verdict; and that the organisers are only allowed to use two loudhailers for the purpose of crowd control.
Nazri (picture) also said today that if Azmin “doesn’t want to comply (with police conditions), then he will have to face the consequences.”
Anwar, 64, is charged with sodomising former male aide Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan at a condominium in upscale Damansara Heights here in June 2008, a few months before returning from a decade in the political wilderness and winning back his Permatang Pauh parliamentary seat.
This represents the second time he has been prosecuted for sodomy.
If found guilty, he could spend up to 20 years behind bars but will escape the caning penalty as he is over 60. It would effectively spell the end of his political career and his chance to be prime minister.