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Hindraf 69’s trial put off as judge gets promoted

SHAH ALAM, 15 Sept 2008: The trial of 69 people for participating in an illegal rally organised by the Hindu Rights Actions Force (Hindraf) at Sri Subramaniar Temple in Batu Caves last year, has been postponed to March next year.

This is because Judge Azimah Omar who was supposed to hear the case at the Sessions Court here, has been promoted.

In today’s proceedings, the new presiding judge – M Gunalan – fixed the new trial dates which were from 24 to 27 March, from 11 to 15 May and from 6 to 10 July 2009.

He also allowed the application by lawyer G Naidum who represented accused N Gobalakrishnan, for the return of the international passport of his client who was elected Member of Parliament for Bagan Serai in the 8 March general election.

He also cancelled the arrest warrant issued on another accused, S Ganesan, who had failed to turn up for the proceedings on 16 April after the accused told the court that he came late due to traffic jams.

Of the 69 accused, five did not turn up in court today. They were S Gunaselan, S Ravi, E Segaran, J Prakash dan R Vejendran.

Lawyer G K Ganesan said Gunaselan was on medical leave after sustaining injury to his face while Ravi was in remand in Klang.

"I don’t know what happens to the three others – Segaran, Prakash and Vejendran. They were here the last time but attempts to get in touch with them this time have failed," he said.

K Palanisam who provided the surety for the three absent accused, said they could have moved because previously they could be contacted by phone.

He also gave a guarantee that the accused would turn up in the next proceedings.

Following this, judge Gunalan said that If the three accused did not turn up in March, an arrest warrant would be issued on each of them.

The 69 were charged under Section 27(5) of the Police Act 1967 with taking part in an illegal assembly between 1am and 8am on Nov 25, 2007, in front of Sri Subramaniar Temple in Batu Caves and showing force to intimidate the police on duty.

If convicted, they could be jailed up to a year or fine not more than RM10,000. – Bernama

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