KUALA LUMPUR: Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Deputy Minister Sim Tze Tzin, Petaling Jaya MP Maria Chin Abdullah, and Bersih secretariat head Mandeep Singh have been acquitted by a magistrate’s court here of the charge of taking part in the #KitaLawan rally three years ago.
Magistrate Maizatul Munirah Abdul Rahman acquitted and discharged Sim, Maria and Mandeep when the case was fixed for mention Friday (Aug 3).
Magistrate Maizatul arrived at this verdict after Deputy Public Prosecutor Noor Elynna Hanim Abd Halim told the court they had considered the letter of representation sent to the Attorney General’s Chambers (AGC) and wished to withdraw the charges.
Sim, 42, Maria, 62, and Mandeep, 32, who is also Communications and Multimedia Ministry special officer, were charged with participating in the street protest against the Goods and Services Tax (GST) and to free Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, among other things, between 3.15pm and 6pm on March 28, 2015.
The charges against them were filed under Section 4(2)(c) of the Peaceful Assembly Act 2012.
The trio were first charged on Sept 8, 2015 but were given a discharge not amounting to an acquittal on Aug 28, last year.
However, on Oct 4 last year, they were charged again and claimed trial.
Meanwhile, the trio's counsel Vince Tan Hoo Seh said the merit of his submission enabled his clients to be acquitted by the court.
Tan said under Section 254 of the Criminal Procedure Code, the court had the power to grant an acquittal against his clients.
Met after the proceeding, Tan said the court had accepted their letter of representation sent to the AGC two months ago and acquitted his clients. He claimed that the case was politically motivated.
Sim, who is also Bayan Baru MP, said they were happy to be acquitted and that the victory was not only for them but for others as well.
“For the past three years, we have had to come to court. It is a waste of people's money. We are very happy that this thing is over,” he said.