It was a thursday morning. I actuall went to Court excited and looking forward to have fun in the court.
The trial started with E-Jay pleading guilty to the illegal assembly charge and having the procession charge taken into consideration. The matter was stood down to 11am and thereafter 1530 for E-Jay’s counsel to prepare his mitigation plea and DPP to prepare the statement of facts.
When I returned back to court after picking up my kids, I was told that E-Jay was handcuffed in public and escorted to pay his fines. Damn it! did they have to resort to that? Was that necessary? Mas Selamat himself, a terrorist was not even handcuffed when he went to the toilet and why then is E-Jay treated worse than Mas Selamat?
Anyway, when the court resumed sitting at 1530, it took almost 2 hours for them just to read out the charges to all 18 of us.
Upon the DPP’s application for joinder of trial, District Judge Chia Wee Kiat next asked all the accused whether they were agreeable to a joint trial, most of the accused objected to the joinder with Yap Keng Ho. Judge Chia granted DPP application for joint trial eventually which make me wonder then why ask us in the first place if the decision was to allow it even though majority was against it?
The 1st day of trial came to an end with Jeffrey George expressing his intention to plead guilty to the charges as the judge refused to grant a disjoinder of his trial, refused to grant an adjournment and disallowed his application to be excused from attendance despite his offer to be bound by the proceedings in his absence.
The 2nd day of trial started with DPP finally providing some answers to the provision of the video recording which the Police intended to adduce as evidence.
We returned to court at 2pm to view the video together. We all had a good laugh as this is the first time after the protest that the TBT 18 sat down and re-lived the experience of the protest. As we viewed the video. We were laughing away at some of the scenes. e.g. when Seelan was dragged and the police videographer was focusing on Seelan’s shoes..Seelan lifted up his legs and commented that he is still wearing the same pair.
We also laughed at the silliness of ASP Willam Goh insisting that we move from the junction when the traffic light was clearly red.
I guess when this video is replayed again during cross examination, it will definitely draw laughter from us and from the public gallery..
When court was resumed at 1430, the first witness was put to stand.
A little time into the cross examination by my co-accused, it became clear that this lady police officer, who was assigned to take pictures of the locations 4 months after the protest did not know the following;
1) what sort of camera she was using despite according to her, she was a police photographer 1 year after joining the force, which means she has 7 years 9 months experience as a cameraman. As a police photographer, she did not know the brand/focus length of her camera and lens. This to me is rather unbelievable. A police photographer who does not know her tools is akin to a policeman not knowing his personal issue weapon.
2) She is not sure that the parliament house is a gazetted area. A Police Staff Sergent who is in the force for 8 years 9 months is not sure so then why the Police Commissioner who issue the Police Summons to me expected that I reasonably ought to have known that the area was gazetted when his own subordinates do not?
Jufri Mahmood questioned the witness if she knew what gazetted actually meant but DPP objected to that citing irrelevance to which John made a very good rebuttal as he pointed out that even she as a Police Staff Sergent is not aware of Parliament House being a gazetted area and why are the rest of us laymen expected to reasonably ought to have known, hence he believe the relevance to Jufri Mahmood questioning of her understanding of the word “gazetted”.
But before the Judge could gave a reply to John, Yap hijacked the cross-examination with his request of asking the witness to leave the courtroom for 1 minute as he need to address certain issues with the court without the witness presense. INTERESTINGLY, the judge allowed Yap’s request and witness was told to leave the court room and Yap addresssed the issue of authenticity of the pictures blah blah blah. I drifted off after two sentences from Yap as I decided that what he was saying was utter rubbish.
When the witness returned, Yap went on to blah blah and blah..John passed a note to my counsel Thiru, in it he wrote “DPP, aren’t you going to object to this?” Thiru was laughing and say no no..he is not going to pass that to DPP. We too were wondering why did the DPP and Judge allowed his line of questioning which was totally irrelevent and Yap was just trying to show off his knowledge of the camera.
Ti Lik finally stood up and objected to Yap’s questioning commenting that he was surprise why the DPP had chosen not to object when it was obvious Yap questioning has no relevance to the case and he is not objectiing but yet chose to object to question from the accused which are relevant. Jufrie Mahmood commented that Yap seemed to be applying for a job in the police force and that brought the whole courtroom into laughter. I caught the DPP laughing too.
After composing himself, DPP explained that he was of the view that the questioining was relevant. The Judge himself agreed with the DPP.
Kai Xiong, who studied photography for 3 years and worked as a freelance lighting assistant, too stood up to dismiss Yap’s line of questioning.
The trial ended with Yap finally decided to abandon his line of questioning. Another day wasted.. ;(
Hopefully Tuesday will be exciting..as it will be ASP Willam Goh turn to take the stand to be cross-examined