Monday, November 26, 2007

Hindraf Trio Discharged

I spent my morning with my boss in the Klang sessions court today giving my moral support to the defendants, the leaders of Hindraf who were charged by the government for sedition.

I witnessed first hand the incompetence of the government prosecutors, and the sheer contempt for our courts. Thankfully, in this instance, the learned judge, Zunaidah Mohd Idris, chose to accept simple logic, and discharged the trio - P Uthayakumar, P Waythamoorthy and V Ganapathy Rao.
  1. The Government had intended to charge the trio of making seditious statements at a forum recently at Batang Berjuntai. The speeches made were in Tamil. However, in the charge submitted, only a Malay translation was provided. In situations where language and interpretation is crucial to the fact as to the accused committed any criminality, omission of the source transcript makes the charges totally untenable.

  2. Yet, despite a specific instruction from the judge for the prosecution last week to amend the charge over last weekend to include the Tamil transcript in the charge documents. The Deputy Public Prosecutor (DPP) still had the cheek to turn up in court today without the necessary amendment and continued to argue against the judge's instruction. Some might argue that that's clearly a contempt of court orders.

  3. What's most laughable of course in the fact that the charge statement by the DPP specifically mentioned that the seditious words which were uttered by the accused are underlined and highlighted in the attached Tamil transcripts in Lampiran A (!) The DPP team didn't attach any Tamil transcripts and yet, made references to such transcripts in the charge documents filed with the court - if that's not incompetence, what is???!

Sigh, makes you wonder if the Government was even serious about charging them in the first place!

Anyway, once the trio were discharged, the crowd in the public gallery joined the crowd waiting nearby outside the courts and proceeded to march spontaneously to an open field next to a Hindu temple. It was Little India in Klang at noon. The crowd swelled quickly to thousands as they cheer short speeches made by various speakers.

Unsurprisingly, FRU water cannon trucks numbering at least 7 units had to move from the court house to the field. What was however, most disgraceful of the police force was the blatant attempt by the circling helicopter first, to recklessly lower itself within 20 feet of the field to intimidate and endangere the crowd. On at least 2 separate occasions, it swooped down at high speed, like an eagle catching its prey, without any concern for the crowd gathering below.

Is it then surprising that the Indian community who have been marginalised by the Barisan Nasional government for the past 50 years, to finally say, we've had enough? Will the Indian community, particularly the rural Indians, who have been rock solid in their support for Barisan Nasional in the past elections, switch their support for the opposition, particularly for DAP?
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