Source: http://thestar.com.my/news (By YUEN MEIKENG and SHAILA KOSHY, 15/2/2011)
A court official (CJM’s special officer) said those called to court to face charges are not allowed to use any entrance other than the main entrance to enter the courtroom. He said this after five policemen charged with assaulting a businessman in Kota Damansara last December caused a stir in a magistrate’s court here when they entered the courtroom through the staff entrance and not through the main door. Asked how the five accused had been allowed to enter from this entrance and whether they had received preferential treatment because they were from the police, the court official said: “The policemen accused in this case were allowed to use that entrance by the police on duty at the courthouse. “The police have been warned never to do that again,” he said.
Irritated by their entry through the staff entrance, lawyer Lim Lip Eng, who is holding a watching brief for plaintiff Chia Buang Hing, told magistrate Nik Mohd Fadli Nik Azlan that the accused should not have used that entrance. Lim then applied to the court to order them to re-enter the court room via the main door and to leave through the same door. Nik Mohd Fadli, however, said he could not give such an order and rejected Lim’s application.
Four of the accused, constables Mohd Azwan Hassan, Norzali Rosle, Ahmad Saifullah Osman and Alizulhafiz Abdul Ghafar, were charged on Jan 11 with intentionally causing hurt to Chia at the Kota Damansara police station at between 12.30am and 3am on Dec 19. Mohd Azwan and Norzali (both currently suspended) were also charged with causing hurt to Chia at Jalan PJU 3/15 between 11.30pm on Dec 18 and 12.30am on Dec 19. The fifth accused, Lans Kpl Mahadi Adam claimed trial in the same court to a charge of disobeying an order under Section 20 (3) of the Police Act 1967, relating to the incident. Norzali was charged in another magistrate’s court with intending to cause false charges against Chia, 35, for allegedly having drugs and a machete at the Kota Damansara police station at 2.01am on Dec 19. Norzali had, on Jan 28, pleaded not guilty to the charges.
In applying for the court to disallow the five to use the staff entrance – located at the back of the courtroom – Lim had argued that all are equal before the law. “Everybody else enters the court through the main door,” he said.
Ricky Tan, another lawyer holding a watching brief for Chia, also argued that the court would set a precedent for others if it allowed the accused to enter via the staff door.
However, counsel Ahmad Zaharil Muhaiyar, who represented the five policemen, argued that Lim had applied for the order because press photographers were outside the main entrance to take pictures of the accused.Related news: Lawyer livid over 'special treatment' for accused cops http://malaysiakini.com/news/155996