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Hindraf rally: 26 charged with attempted murder for attack on cop

Contributed by Anonymous on Tuesday, December 04 @ 21:10:27 CST

By : A. Hafiz Yatim and V. Shankar Ganesh 2007/12/05

Some of the accused outside the Shah Alam Sessions Court yesterday.
SHAH ALAM: In the strongest move yet against supporters of the Hindu Rights Action Front (Hindraf), 26 of them were yesterday charged with attempted murder.

This comes a week after they were charged with illegal assembly and rioting at the Selayang court.

All the accused, between the ages of 18 and 45, were picked up by the police from their homes in the Klang Valley and Perak, as early as 2am yesterday.

They were brought to the Shah Alam Sessions Court yesterday at 3.20pm in two police lorries.

Out of the 26, 10 were also charged with illegal assembly.
Attorney-General Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail led the prosecution. Also in the team was the head of prosecution in the A-G's Chambers, Datuk Yusof Zainal Abiden.

All 26 were jointly charged with using criminal force against a policeman, Dedi Abd Rani.

They were also charged with causing disturbances by damaging seven vehicles - two Proton Wiras, Proton Waja, Kia Pregio, Perodua Rusa, Toyota Hiace and Rover Defender.

Both offences took place in front of the Sri Subramaniam temple at Jalan Besar, Batu Caves, between 1am and 8am on Nov 25, 2007.

The 26 were said to be part of an illegal assembly which was waiting to join up with other Hindraf supporters at a rally later in the day at Jalan Ampang.

For the charge of attempted murder, the accused face a maximum 20 years' jail with fine, while for charge of causing mischief, they face a jail sentence not more than five years and a fine if convicted.

All claimed trial to the charges.

They were represented by a team of 17 lawyers led by G.K. Ganesan and M. Manoharan from the Bar Council.

Manoharan also informed the court that none of the 26 accused was given food or drink when the police picked them up from their homes.

There was also a shouting match during proceedings when Manoharan submitted the attendance of Abdul Gani may intimidate Sessions Court judge Azimah Omar who was hearing the case.

Abdul Gani said the defence should not make this an issue and also not insinuate that race was an issue.

Azimah assured Manoharan she was undaunted by Abdul Gani's presence and that she was only interested in seeing that justice was done.

Abdul Gani objected to bail as the offence for attempted murder and causing mischief were non-bailable.

Ganesan said the defence was not prepared to submit on the issue of bail and asked that the matter be heard today.

Manoharan pointed out that there were irregularities to the charges framed by the prosecution, but was unprepared to submit on the matter and asked for a postponement.

Azimah allowed the matter to be heard today while the accused remain under detention.

Before proceedings ended, there was a tiff among the defence lawyers when P. Uthayakumar (legal adviser to Hindraf) told the court that the charges were malicious and that the Indian community was being persecuted while no such treatment was dished out to supporters of the coalition for clean and fair elections, known as Bersih.

Supporters of Bersih held a rally on Nov 10 before presenting a memorandum to the Yang di-Pertuan Agong.

At this juncture, lawyer Jaspal Singh, stood up and told the court that he did not agree with Uthayakumar's argument and he was discharging himself from this case.

He alleged that Uthayakumar was causing more problems for all 26 accused.

Jaspal left the court room followed by counsel Suraj Singh and Jaya Murugan.

Outside court, a Light Strike Force team was on standby as there was a large crowd of family members and friends who were denied entry.

No untoward incidents were reported.

The accused:

• S. Ganishen, 39
• K. Raju, 45
• A.R. Sakthivel, 34
• K. Ganapathy, 38
• R.K. Sukumaran, 24
• S. Kumaran, 23
• B. Varatharaju, 32
• M. Kuna Sekaran, 24
• V. Ganeson, 40
• L. Thiyagarajan, 33
• S. Gunaa, 21
• K. Thinagaranpillay, 23
• N. Balamohan, 23
• K. Gopinath, 27
• M.R. Suresh, 24
• M.K. Suman, 20
• M. Buwenthiran, 24
• M. Pushparathan, 21
• S. Tamil Arasu, 26
• N. Ramasamy, 43
• S. Ramesh Kumar, 22
• R. Puspanathan, 19
• S. Mugilan Dever, 20
• G. Thinesh Kumar, 19
• T. Kunalan, 38
• S. Sures, 18

Bickering over language
SHAH ALAM : Attorney-General Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail yesterday chided the 17 defence lawyers, charging that they were causing more problems for their clients by bringing up trivial issues.

Defence lead counsel M. Manoharan had earlier told the Sessions Court that Gani's presence was to intimidate judge Azimah Omar.

Manoharan then made an issue of Abdul Gani's submission in English, arguing that as a government servant Abdul Gani should have used Bahasa Malaysia.

Azimah waved away the objections.

At this juncture, one of the accused, M.K. Suman, 20, told the court that he had already been charged with illegal assembly - at the Selayang Sessions Court last week.
Abdul Gani checked on it and apologised to the court for the mistake, but counsel P. Uthayakumar would not let him off the hook until he apologised to the accused.

Azimah told him not to make an issue of it.

Abdul Gani then accused the defence of turning the proceedings into a racial issue. Then, during the bail application, counsel G.K. Ganesan said he was not prepared with submissions in Bahasa Malaysia as his submissions were in English.

An exasperated Abdul Gani stood up and pointed out that earlier, the defence had wanted him to submit in Bahasa Malaysia and now Ganesan wanted to submit in English.



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