Reformasi activist held for possession of 'Best of Ezam' VCDs
Susan Loone 1:38pm Wed Aug 21st, 2002
Police personnel stationed at the Kulim magistrates' court yesterday
confiscated and detained a reformasi activist for illegal possession of 21
VCDs featuring a collection of speeches by Keadilan Youth chief Mohd Ezam
Mohd Nor, entitled 'Best of Ezam'.
Nasir Isa, 45, was held for five hours for questioning at the Kulim
district police headquarters allegedly for carrying 'illegal' copies of
the VCDs not approved by the Information Ministry. All videos recordings
for public distribution must be certified by the ministry's National Film
Nasir was later arrested but he has yet to be told of his charge.
He posted bail at RM2,000 in the afternoon and was told to report back on
Saturday, Aug 24. He was accompanied by Penang Keadilan deputy chief and
lawyer Cheah Kah Peng and two other party supporters.
Nasir has been politically active in reformasi activities and was part of
the 'urgent arrest' team which provide assistance for those detained by
police during street demonstrations.
District police chief Ismail Ayub confirmed the arrest but declined to
comment beyond saying that the charge against Nasir would be made known on
No intention of sell VCDs
Earlier, Nasir was in court to observe the trial of 10 Keadilan leaders
and members who were jointly charged with taking part in an illegal
assembly with the intention to riot, and wrongfully confining bus drivers
and passengers from reaching their destination during the Nov 2000 Lunas
Forty-five minutes into the trial yesterday, which started at 10.30am,
Nasir was asked to leave the courtroom and report to the magistrates'
court's guard house.
He was then told that his bag, which was left at the guard house,
contained 'illegal' VCDs. One of the police officers at the court later
escorted him to the police station.
When malaysiakini spoke to Nasir after he had posted his bail, he said he
had no intentions to sell the VCDs or distribute them in public and was
not expecting any arrest.
The VCDs contain a compilation of Ezam's speeches at various political
rallies before he was detained under the controversial Internal Security
Act last April for allegedly seeking to overthrow the government through
"I brought them from Kuala Lumpur to give party supporters and members
souvenirs to take home after the trial," he said.
Since the launch of the reformasi movement four years ago, several
distributers have been charged in court for illegal possession and for
selling VCDs which contained political speeches by opposition leaders.
Witness in riot trial quizzed for not reporting IC incident
Susan Loone 1:26pm Wed Aug 21st, 2002
No police report was lodged against Keadilan leader Azmin Ali for
allegedly demanding for the identity cards of bus drivers and passengers
who were stopped on their way to the Lunas by-election in 2000, the
Magistrates' Court in Kulim, Kedah, heard yesterday.
Azmin's legal counsel Pravan Singh said that, the act of demanding ICs
from anyone is a "crucial act", yet the witness under cross-examination, S
Murugesan, had not included this alleged act by Azmin in the report he
lodged against the opposition leader on Nov 29, 2000.
In reply, Murugesan said he omitted that detail as his driving motive then
was to report the tense situation and violence around him.
Murugesan, a lawyer and Selangor MIC youth leader, denied that his
bringing up of that detail now, in court, was "an afterthought".
He was testifying in the trial against 10 opposition leaders and members
who had allegedly participated in an illegal assembly with the intention
to riot, and wrongfully confining scores of bus drivers and passengers.
In the dock were Azmin, who is Hulu Kelang state assembly representative,
Keadilan vice-president Tian Chua, Youth chief Mohd Ezam Mohd Nor,
Information chief Ruslan Kasim, supreme council member N Gobalakrishnan,
Kedah Keadilan youth secretary Zamil Ibrahim, Taman Sejahtera Lunas PAS
Youth chief Ahmad Khairudin Jamaluddin, Sungai Petani PAS Youth committee
member Mohd Khairi Yahya, Kota Kuala Muda PAS committee member Mohd Fauzi
Awang Kechik and PAS volunteer Khairul Nizar Ismail.
Tian was brought to the court from the Kamunting Detention Centre where he
is undergoing a two-year detention under the Internal Security Act.
Similarly, Ezam too was brought from Kajang prison where he is undergoing
a two-year sentence after being found guilty of committing an offence
under the Official Secrets Act early this month. Prior to that, he was in
Kamunting undergoung a two-year ISA detention.
When asked how Murugesan could conclusively identify those who stopped the
buses to be Keadilan supporters, Murugesan said he knew them from the tags
that they wore, which had the party logo.
However, Pravan disputed Murugesan's assumption that they were Keadilan
people simply because they were wearing the party tags.
No one injured
To another question, Murugesan said none of the passengers had been
injured or beaten up.
The day before, he had alleged in court that the group who detained the
buses carried sticks, cameras and helmets.
Later, Pravan inferred that the buses were directed to the police station
because they ferried phantom voters.
"If they are not phantom voters, why do they have to come on polling day?"
To that, Murugesan said his movement, MIC Selangor, brought along
supporters to Lunas to give their fellow Barisan Nasional member candidate
Magistrate Rosnani Saud* presided over the case while DPP Hashim Hamzah
prosecuted. Besides Pravan, Md Yunos Shariff, Cheah Kah Peng and Gooi Hock
Seng were the legal counsel for the 10.
*Correction: It was erroneously reported Monday that the presiding
magistrate was Noor Hashim Ismail. We regret the error.
'Riot' witness ticked off for hearsay remark
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