Home English News Malaysian protest leader Maria Chin faces criminal charges

Malaysian protest leader Maria Chin faces criminal charges

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Maria Chin AbdullahKuala Lumpur (dpa) – Prosecutors on Tuesday filed charges against the leader of an anti-government protest that called for the resignation of Prime Minister Najib Razak, a lawyer for the accused said.

Maria Chin Abdullah (pic), leader of the electoral reform group Bersih, pleaded not guilty to the charge of violating the country’s Peaceful Assembly Act of 2012 for failing to give the police a 10-day notice ahead of the protest in late August, lawyer Ambiga Sreenevasan said.

The overnight protest on August 29 and 30 drew tens of thousands of people, including former Malaysian prime minister Mahathir Mohamad, calling for Najib’s resignation.

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If found guilty, Maria could be fined up to 10,000 ringgit (2,300 dollars), Ambiga added.

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Kuala Lumpur Session Court Judge Mat Ghani Abdullah set the bail at 5,000 ringgit, which the accused immediately paid.

Najib has been under attack, even from within his ruling party, since a July report in the Wall Street Journal suggested that 673 million dollars in his bank accounts were misappropriated from the state development fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).

The embattled leader denied the allegations and the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission said the money in Najib’s bank accounts did not come from 1MDB but from foreign donors in the Middle East.