Deputy Minister, Maria Chin Acquitted Of Street Protest Charges

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KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 4 – Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Deputy Minister, Sim Tze Tzin, Petaling Jaya MP Maria Chin Abdullah and activist Mandeep Singh were today discharged and acquitted of charges for taking part in a street protest, #KitaLawan in the federal capital three years ago.

Magistrate Maizatul Munirah Abd Rahman made the decision on Maria, 62, Sim, 42, and Mandeep, 32, as the accused after deputy public prosecutor Noorelynna Hanim Abd Halim told the court that the Attorney General’s Chambers approved the representation sought by the defence.

“After studying the representation, the prosecution made the decision to withdraw the case,” said Noorelynna. In this regard, Vince Tan, counsel for the three accused appealed to the court to discharge and acquit all his clients from the charges as the prosecution did not intend to continue prosecution.

Sim, Maria and Mandeep were charged with several other individuals in the protest over issues of reformation, free Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim as well as the goods and services tax (GST). They carried out the act from the fountain at Jalan Tun Perak junction and ended at the Sogo shopping centre here from 3.15pm and 6pm on March 28 2015.

All of them were charged under Section 4(2)© of the Peaceful Assembly Act 2012 and could be punished under Section 4(3) of the same act which provides for a fine of up to RM10,000.

Three accused were charged on Sept 8 2015, and they were discharged but not acquitted by Magistrate Court on Aug 28, 2017, when the prosecution was not present on that day. However, they were later charged again for the same offences on Oct 4, 2017, and pleaded not guilty. — Bernama

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