PETALING JAYA (Feb 5): The independent panel headed by former Inspector-General of Police Tun Hanif Omar investigating violent incidents during the Bersih 3.0 rally will meet on Thursday to look into the final draft of their report.
Confirming this today, Hanif said panel members have been given their individual copies of the draft which if approved will be submitted to Home Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein.
"We hope to finalise the final report on that day and hand the report over to the minister," he told fz.com when contacted.
He was however tight lipped about the contents and recommendations of the report on the rally that took place on April 28 last year.
Hanif, who had previously said that the report would be ready by the end of last year, explained that there were administration delays on some of the issues which the panel was looking into.
"The element of foreign security experts for example, we have written to embassies but only one of them had gotten back to us," he said. The panel were looking to draw comparisons on how other countries handle riots and incidence of violence.
Hanif added that the panel's request for information on the four-wheel vehicle with the registration number WJU842 – alleged to be used as communication jammers on the day of the protest – was futile.
"No one who owned the vehicle or who saw the vehicle came forward," he said.
The panel which started work on June 18 last year has interviewed a total of 44 witnesses and watched 541 video clips of the events during the protest.
On Nov 26 last year, Hanif said the 10-chapter report will include recommendations and a chronology of the events on April 28.
The panel's formation came under heavy criticism from various groups including Bersih and the Bar Council who argued that as a former police chief, Haniff may not be fair in his assessment as there were many allegations of police violence against protesters.
Many also argued that another investigation into the Bersih rally carried out by Suhakam – which concluded its probe last month – was sufficient.
Hanif's comments, prior to the April 28 rally, that the protest to demand for free and fair elections contained some elements of communism also contributed to criticism of the panel.