21 charged with illegal assembly

(The Star) A total of 21 people, including a Member of Parliament (MP), two state assemblymen and a Catholic priest, were charged in the Magistrates Court here with taking part in an illegal assembly and failing to disperse when ordered to do so.

Petaling Jaya Utara MP Tony Pua, Selangor executive council member Ronnie Liu, Kampong Tunku state assemblyman Lau Weng San, Reverend Father Paulino Francesco Miranda of the Church of Divine Mercy and the rest all pleaded not guilty.

They were arrested on Nov 9 last year under Section 27 of the Police Act for allegedly taking part in an illegal assembly after several warnings to disperse were ignored.

The gathering was a candlelight vigil held at the Petaling Jaya City Council building here on Oct 9 last year to protest the Internal Security Act, among others.

It was organised by the Coalition for Clean and Fair Elections, also known as Bersih.

They face a maximum fine of RM10,000 or a jail term of not more than one year for each charge or both.

Magistrate Rozina Ayob allowed bail of RM1,500 each on one surety and fixed March 10 to mention the case for trial.