Bilqis appeal: There are real crimes for govt to go after, say activists

Source: Free Malaysia Today

PETALING JAYA: A human rights NGO has questioned the government’s decision to appeal the acquittal of a woman who dropped balloons at an event attended by the prime minister and his wife in 2015.

Lawyers for Liberty (LFL) executive director Eric Paulsen also questioned the need to secure a conviction for a minor incident, adding that it was a “waste of resources”.

“Surely there are real crimes for the public prosecutor to go after?

“He must not forget that he acts as a guardian for public interest. What public interest is being served by continuously appealing such a petty matter?”

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Prosecution appeals again against ‘balloon girl’s’ acquittal

Source: Malay Mail Online

Photo of Bilqis

Bilqis (right) was previously acquitted on July 1, 2017 by the Magistrates’ Court without her defence being called. — Picture by Miera Zulyana via Malay Mail Online

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 17 — The prosecution has again appealed against the acquittal of dance producer Bilqis Hijjas of a charge of “insulting behaviour” for dropping yellow balloons at a 2015 event graced by the prime minister.

Latheefa Koya, a lawyer for Bilqis, today said: “Our client just informed that she has been served the notice of appeal.”

When contacted, Bilqis — also popularly known as the “balloon girl” — confirmed that she had received the notice of appeal.

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‘Balloon girl’ freed of insulting behaviour

Source: Malay Mail Online

Bilqis Hijjas is seen with her lawyer, Latheefa Koya, after today’s decision at the Magistrates' Court in Kuala Lumpur November 27, 2017. — Picture by Miera Zulyana

Bilqis Hijjas is seen with her lawyer, Latheefa Koya, after today’s decision at the Magistrates’ Court in Kuala Lumpur November 27, 2017. — Picture by Miera Zulyana

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 27 — Dance producer Bilqis Hijjas walked out beaming today after the Magistrates’ Court acquitted her of “insulting behaviour” for dropping yellow balloons at a 2015 event attended by the prime minister and his wife.

“I am very pleased. It has taken two years to get here. Thankful to my lawyers to fight this long fight.

“The point has been made, symbolic resistance is possible. I hope people will take heart from this,” the ecstatic 38-year-old told reporters outside the courtroom at the Kuala Lumpur court complex here.

In his ruling earlier, magistrate Mohd Faizal Ismail said the prosecution had failed to prove that Bilqis had hurt anyone by her actions, adding that her testimony made previously has been consistent. Read more

‘Balloon girl’ will take stand in defence, lawyer says

Source: The Malay Mail Online

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 3 — Dance producer Bilqis Hijjas will definitely take the stand after the High Court called for her defence, her lawyer said today.

The court had earlier today reversed a magistrate’s acquittal of the 38-year-old, who was dubbed the balloon girl after she was charged with “insulting behavior” by releasing yellow balloons at a 2015 event attended by the prime minister and his wife.

Lawyer Eric Paulsen said his client will not plead guilty.

“We are disappointed, but you know, promoting free media, justice and democracy certainly shouldn’t be a crime.

‘We are disappointed but nonetheless we will carry on with the defence,” he told reporters after High Court judge Datuk Indera Mohd Sofian Abd Razak allowed the prosecution’s appeal against a lower court’s acquittal of Bilqis of the charge. Read more

AG appeals against acquittal of dancer who threw yellow balloons at PM event

Source: The Malay Mail Online

Dancer Bilqis Hijjas speaks to reporters outside the KL Magistrate Court, July 1, 2016. ― Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

Dancer Bilqis Hijjas speaks to reporters outside the KL Magistrate Court, July 1, 2016. ― Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 7 ― The Attorney-General’s Chambers have submitted an appeal against dancer Bilqis Hijjas acquitted of insulting behaviour by dropping yellow balloons during an official event attended by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak and his wife in a mall August last year.

A notice of the appeal which was accepted by the court registrar on July 14 was sent by post to Bilqis who received it on Friday.

The letter stated that the prosecutors were “not satisfied” with the judgement to free Bilqis by Magistrate Mohd Faizal Ismail on July 1.

When contacted, Bilqis said she was disheartened  by the AG’s decision of wanting to pursue the case despite being acquitted.

“I’m very disappointed that the matter is continuing, as I believe the judge in the first trial provided a very clear and comprehensive ruling.

“To me, this appeal seems like a nuisance suit, and a continuing waste of public resource, with very little hope of public gain,” she told Malay Mail Online yesterday. Read more

Dancer walks free after court rules yellow balloons at PM event ‘not insulting’

Source: The Malay Mail Online

Dancer Bilqis Hijjas speaks to reporters outside the KL Magistrate Court, July 1, 2016. ― Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

Dancer Bilqis Hijjas speaks to reporters outside the KL Magistrate Court, July 1, 2016. ― Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

KUALA LUMPUR, July 1 ― Dancer Bilqis Hijjas was today acquitted of insulting behaviour by dropping yellow balloons during an official event attended by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak and his wife in a mall last August.

Magistrate Mohd Faizal Ismail said the prosecution failed to prove a prima facie case against Bilqis, ruling that it had not shown that her action with the balloons amounted to “insulting behaviour”.

He pointed out that the definition in the dictionary by the country’s leading Malay-language authority Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka requires an alleged “insult” to be aimed or felt by a person, but pointed out that no one had been insulted by Bilqis’s actions. Read more

Trial starts for Bersih ‘balloon girl’ Bilqis Hijjas [Updated]

Bilqis was charged with 'insulting behaviour' against the prime minister and his wife by dropping seven balloons printed with the words “Free media”, “Democracy” and “Justice” from the top floor of a popular mall in the capital city last August. ― Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

Bilqis Hijjas. ― Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

Dancer Bilqis Hijjas, charged with ‘insulting behaviour’ against the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak and his wife Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor by dropping on them seven yellow balloons from the top floor of a popular mall in the capital city in August 2015, must stand trial at the Magistrates Court.

This follows the public prosecutor’s rejection of her application to drop the charge on 28 January 2016.

Her defence team received verbal confirmation of the rejection to drop the charge under Section 14 of the Minor Offences Act 1955 from the Attorney-General’s Chambers from deputy public prosecutor Joy Jothi Nadrasan.

The said yellow balloons were printed with the words “Free media”, “Democracy” and “Justice”.

 

Related Articles

[1] ‘Balloon girl’ probed for handing out Bersih balloons [31 Aug 2015]
[2] Bersih ‘balloon girl’ to be charged tomorrow [22 Sep 2015]
[3] Consider dropping charge against Bersih ‘balloon girl’, Malaysian Bar urges AG [23 Sep 2015]
[4] Bersih 4 balloon girl pleads not guilty to ‘insulting behaviour’ (VIDEO) [23 Sep 2015]
[5] ‘Seolah-olah kuasa boleh diancam dengan belon’ – Bilqis Hijjas [23 Sep 2015]
[6] Trial starts for Bersih ‘balloon girl’ after prosecutor refuses to drop charge [28 Jan 2016]

Updates

[7] Although harmless, yellow balloons still disturbed PM gig, witness tells court [26 Apr 2016]
[8] In balloon girl trial, witness says had orders to avoid Bersih commotion [26 Apr 2016]
[9] ‘Something could go wrong’, mall security says after witnessing yellow balloons at PM gig [27 Apr 2016]
[10] Pavilion security: PM’s event ran smoothly because we acted fast on yellow balloons [5 May 2016]
[11] Organiser ‘angry’ at yellow balloons’ hijack of art fest graced by PM [13 May 2016]
[
12] Outcome of trial: Dancer walks free after court rules yellow balloons at PM event ‘not insulting’ [1 Jul 2016]