Trial of cops accused of hitting journo at Bersih starts Nov 30
KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 29 ― Two policemen will be tried in the Magistrates’ Court here on November 30 for assaulting a Guang Ming Daily photojournalist during the Bersih rally for electoral reform last April.
Magistrate Zulkipli Abdullah today set for the trial to start on the date after listening to submissions from prosecutors and lawyers of Lance Corporal Mohd Khairul Asri Mohd Sobri, 30 and Constable Shahrul Niza Abd Jalil, 24.
Both men had claimed trial on May 18 to using criminal violence against Wong Onn Kin, 33, during the Bersih rally on April 28 this year.
To date, Mohd Khairul and Shahrul Niza are the only police personnel to be prosecuted despite widespread allegations of police brutality during the chaotic street demonstration in the national capital.
They allegedly committed the offence at the junction between Jalan Tun Perak and Jalan Raja here, between 5.20pm and 5.30pm on April 28, 2012.
The duo face a maximum three months in jail or a fine of up to RM1,000 or both if convicted under Section 350 of the Penal Code.
Bersih, a coalition of over 82 non-governmental organisations, held its third rally for free and fair elections since 2007 on the streets of the capital on April 28.
The “sit-in protest”, which was meant to be peaceful, turned violent when tens of thousands of people clashed with armed riot police after barricades surrounding the historic Dataran Merdeka were breached.
Since the event, scores of reports have been lodged against the police, alleging brutality, while the government has had to fend off negative publicity for its alleged mishandling for the otherwise peaceful event.
The rally is also the subject of ongoing inquiries by the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) and an independent panel appointed by Putrajaya.