Bail denied for duo in Batu Buruk riot

(The Star) – KUALA TERENGGANU: It was a tense situation at the Sessions Court here when a judge denied bail for two men charged with unlawful assembly and voluntarily causing hurt to a policeman during the Sept 8 Batu Buruk riot. 

Some 200 people had gathered outside the courthouse since 9am as officers from the police light strike force watched over them. 

The courtroom was packed with family members of the accused, Muhamad Azman Abd Aziz, 21, from Pasir Panjang here and Suwandi Ab Ghani, 38, from Kampung Binjai Rendah, Marang, and members of an opposition party. 

The defence counsel had appealed to the court to allow bail for the duo, who were detained in a police lock-up since Dec 9. 

Judge Hassan Abdul Ghani Hassan rejected the applications on grounds that the accused had filed appeals in the High Court to be allowed bail for both the charges. 

Soon after he had made the decision, an angry man yelled derogatory remarks. A policeman was seen leading the man out of the courtroom while PAS vice-president Mohamad Sabu persuaded those gathered outside to disperse peacefully. 

The two men had earlier claimed trial to participating in an unlawful gathering and causing hurt at a car park in Permai Inn Hotel, Jalan Sultan Mahmud, here at 11.40pm on Sept 8. 

Both sustained injuries during the riot. 

Suwandi underwent an operation to remove a slug embedded in his right lung while Muhamad Azman was warded at the hospital for several days.  

Attorney-General Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail asked the court to set another date so that the hearing could be carried out with another case pending in the magistrate’s court here.