Malaysia's Low Yat Plaza theft suspect claims trial

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Police escorting an injured man after the riot at Low Yat Plaza. PHOTO: SHIN CHEW

KUALA LUMPUR (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - A 22-year-old man has pleaded not guilty to a charge of stealing a smartphone in a case that led to a brawl at Low Yat Plaza.

Shahrul Anuar Abdul Aziz claimed trial at the magistrate's court on Tuesday to a charge of stealing a Lenovo phone S860 worth RM 800 (S$285) from a shop in Low Yat Plaza last Saturday.

He was charged under Section 380 of the Penal Code for theft which is punishable with a jail term of up to 10 years, a fine or caning.

DPP Suhaimi Ibrahim asked for a bail of RM5,000. However, magistrate Aminahtul Mardiah Md Nor fixed the sum at RM3,000 and set Aug 14 for hearing.

The accused was clad in a grey t-shirt in court and appeared confused. He said he did not understand the charge when it was first read out to him which led to Aminahtul having to repeat it.

The accused then pleaded guilty and muttered "barang kes tak ada" (I don't have the case evidence). Aminahtul then asked him again if he admitted to the charge, at which point Shahrul then claimed trial.

According to Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar, two people were arrested at Low Yat Plaza last Saturday. But one was later released by an investigating officer.

Khalid said that they had stolen a mobile phone from a kiosk and on hearing cries for help, staff of another kiosk had stepped in to catch them.

Following the incident, the released accomplice reportedly returned to the shopping complex with a group of seven and attacked the kiosk staff who had helped nabbed him and the alleged thief.

The duo's claim of being cheated went viral and later that evening, more than a hundred people gathered at the mall, eventually leading to a brawl that saw five people, including three journalists, injured.

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