PKR de facto leader Anwar Ibrahim, along with party deputy president Azmin Ali and former supreme council member Badrul Hisham Shaharin, have been charged with participating in a street protest.
The trio, who are the first to be charged under the recently-passed Peaceful Assembly Act, claimed trial.
Anwar told judge Mahmud Abdullah that the charge is yet another “political” campaign against him.
The three were charged under Section 4(2)(c), with participating in the rally and violating a court order between 2.30pm and 3pm on April 28.
The court order, which magistrate Zaki Asyraf Zubir had signed on April 26, prohibited the gathering at Dataran Merdeka and the area between Jalan Sultan Hishammuddin, Jalan Raja and Jalan Kelab.
If found guilty, they are liable to a maximum fine of RM10,000. Anwar and Azmin could lose their status as elected representatives if their fine exceeds RM2,000.
Anwar’s lawyers - Karpal Singh and former solicitor-general II Mohd Yusof Zainal Abiden (right) - applied for his release on a personal bond, but DPP Abdul Wahab Mohamad objected.
Karpal then submitted that Anwar is the “prime minister in waiting” and has never shirked a court appearance in the past.
Added Yusof: “He may be late sometimes but he comes to court ... Imposing bail would be too much, as he has a good track record of attendance.”
Yusof was a surprise inclusion in the defence team, since he had led the prosecution team against Anwar in the Sodomy II trial.
Abdul Wahab applied for bail to be set at RM2,000 to secure attendance.
DPP Ishak Mohd Yusof told the court that waiving bail for Anwar would not be fair to the other accused, who had each posted bail of RM500.
The judge then ordered bail to be set at RM500 and fixed July 2 for mention of the case.
Sivarasa Rasiah and Gurcharan Singh represented Azmin, while Latheefa Koya appeared for Badrul Hisham, who is popularly known as Chegubard.
Sankara Nair, Kota Alam Shah assemblyperson M Manoharan and Ramkarpal Singh are co-counsel for Anwar.
The three claimed trial to a second charge under the Section 188 of the Penal Code in that they allegedly breached a magistrate’s order.
They are also said to have conspired with Rasah PKR division deputy head R Tangam , lawyer G Rajesh Kumar and van driver Farhan Ibrahim @ Alias by inciting them to breach the barricade surrounding Dataran Merdeka, which ‘could have caused a riot or clashes’.
If convicted, they are liable to a maximum jail term of a month or fine of RM2,000, or both.
Abdul Wahab applied for bail, while the defence sought their release on a personal bond.
The judge agreed to releasing them on a personal bond and fixed July 2 for the case to be mentioned.
Among the opposition leaders spotted in court were DAP supremo Lim Kit Siang, PAS vice-president Mahfuz Omar, PAS MP Dr Mohd Hatta Ramli, Johor PKR chief Chua Jui Meng and PKR disciplinary committee chairperson Dr Tan Kee Kwong.