Sunday, January 8, 2012

PKR says signed for letter, not agreement to rally clauses

Azmin and Shamsul (right) arrive for PKR’s meeting with the police in Kuala Lumpur, January 6, 2011.

PKR insisted this evening it did not sign its approval of the 10 conditions outlined by police for the rally in support of Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim tomorrow, when he learns the verdict of his two-year-long sodomy trial.

Vice president N. Surendran said he was at the meeting with city police on Friday and discussions “did not touch on the conditions given by police later.”

“The signature referred to by the police is Shamsul’s signature to acknowledge receipt of the letter. It was not a signature agreeing to the conditions,” he said.

The lawyer said the 10 conditions, which include barring participants from “making noise” and speeches at the assembly, were only given to PKR Youth chief Shamsul Iskandar Mohd Akin in a letter after it was made known to the press.

Kuala Lumpur police chief Datuk Mohmad Salleh insisted today PKR had agreed to the 10 conditions set out for its rally, calling PKR deputy president Azmin Ali a “liar” for saying the conditions were not agreed to during their meeting on Friday.

He added that Shamsul had signed an agreement listing down the conditions.

Surendran said in a statement this evening that police had raised several issues on crowd control and safety in the Friday meeting, but insisted “there was no agreement on specific conditions as Kuala Lumpur police was satisfied with PKR’s information”.

Shamsul had also told The Malaysian Insider earlier today the term “conditions” was never raised during the meeting although both parties had come to an understanding on ensuring a peaceful gathering.

Azmin had announced on Tuesday that Pakatan Rakyat (PR) will be amassing a rally of over 100,000 people when the court delivers its verdict tomorrow.

He also said yesterday PKR does not accept conditions set by police for the public rally as they were only outlined after the party had obtained police permission to gather in support of its de facto leader.

Sentul police had issued 10 conditions on Friday after “considering safety and public order factors” for the demonstration to be held in the parking area of the Jalan Duta court complex.

They also include barring participants from carrying any banners to support the Permatang Pauh MP at the gathering, which is being held as the High Court here delivers its verdict in the highly-charged Sodomy II trial.

No conditions were mentioned by Mohmad during a brief, joint press conference with PKR after their meeting on Friday.

Among the other conditions are that the public must disperse one hour after the verdict, and that the organisers are only allowed to use two loudhailers for the purpose of crowd control.

Anwar, 64, is charged with sodomising former male aide Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan at a condominium in upscale Damansara Heights here in June 2008, a few months before returning from a decade in the political wilderness and winning back his Permatang Pauh parliamentary seat.

This represents the second time he has been prosecuted for sodomy.

If found guilty, he could spend up to 20 years behind bars but will escape the caning penalty as he is over 60. It would effectively spell the end of his political career and his chance to be prime minister.

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