Kuala Lumpur, Sep 16: The trial of the 66 Hindu Rights Action Force (HINDRAF) supporters charged for illegal assembly and causing mischief has been postponed to next year by a Shah Alam Sessions Court.
Judge M. Gunalan fixed March 24 to 27, May 11 to 15 and July 6 to 10 as trial dates. The 66 accused are aged between 20 and 56 and five of them failed to turn up in court on Monday, Sep 15 prompting Judge Gunalan to warn that warrants of arrests would be issued if they failed to attend their hearing next year.
According to the New Strait Times, the judge also ordered the five men -- E. Segaran, S. Gunaseelan, J. Prakash, S. Ravi and R. Vijayndran -- to give the court valid reasons for their absence.
Businessman K.P. Samy, who had posted bail for all the accused, was asked to explain why the five were absent.
Samy said he was not able to contact them.
Initially 69 people, including five students, had been charged with taking part in an illegal assembly at Batu Caves on November 25, 2007 and for causing mischief by damaging seven vehicles at the Sri Subramaniam Temple.
The prosecution withdrew the charge of causing mischief against the students but maintained the illegal assembly charge against two of them. The remaining 64 people face both charges.