PKR duo seeks RM4mil compensation

Beh Lih Yi | Dec 17, 07 12:48pm

Two PKR leaders are claiming compensation over their ‘wrongful’ arrest on Dec 11 near Parliament House, as police prevented them from joining poll reform group Bersih in submitting a memorandum.

Information chief Tian Chua, 43, and Kota Raja division information chief Abdul Razak Ismail, 46, filed the suit at the Kuala Lumpur High Court this morning through their counsel Lai Chee Hoe. The hearing date has yet to be set.
They named the Inspector General-of-Police Musa Hassan and the government as defendants.
Various grounds for compensation were cited – that they were wrongfully arrested and imprisoned, that the police allegedly committed trespass, assault and battery, and that Abdul Razak’s car was partially burnt while in the care of the police.
The duo are seeking a total of RM4 million in compensation over general, aggravated and exemplary damages for the “injury, trauma, oppressiveness and humiliation they suffered and were put through by the police”.
On top of this, they also want RM20,000 in compensation over the damage to Abdul Razak’s car and RM80 per day for the loss of use of the car.
“The suit is to preserve our dignity and good name,” Chua told reporters at the lobby of the court complex this morning after filing the suit. Also present was Abdul Razak.
Chua, who was travelling in Abdul Razak’s car last Tuesday, was arrested at Jalan Parliament after he was said to have failed to stop at a police roadblock – he had insisted on moving forward before nine police officers swooped in to haul him off.
Abdul Razak was later detained by police as well.
In their suit, they argued that the arrests were wrong in procedure as the police had failed to show them a warrant of arrest and inform them the ground of arrest despite repeated requests.
“The police committed further trespass, assault and battery against (the plaintiffs) by the use of improper and illegal force by forcibly dragging (them) from the car into the police vehicles and striking (Chua) on his face,” according to their statement of claim.
A video clip which clearly shows the PKR leader being hit on his face has been uploaded to video-sharing Internet site, YouTube.
The duo argued that the ‘wrongful’ arrests had led to them being “wrongfully imprisoned and deprived of their liberty for more than 10 hours” before they were released on police bail the same day.
Photo evidence
They further claimed that the police had been negligent in failing to prevent damage to Abdul Razak’s car or take adequate measures to ensure due care.
The car was removed from Jalan Parlimen to the Kuala Lumpur contingent police headquarters in Jalan Hang Tuah.
It is understand that a few photos of the car – before and after it was towed – will be tendered in court as evidence.
The police had earlier claimed that the fire had been started by a short-circuit in the battery, an explanation that Abdul Razak has rejected as “ridiculous’ because the ignition key had been in his possession all along.
Chua alleged that no scientific test had been conducted to substantiate the police version.
On the claim that he had bitten a police personnel while being arrested, the PKR leader appeared amused and asked the police to prove this.
“You can see clearly in the video (footage) that I was totally incapacitated with seven or eight policemen holding my legs and arms,” he said.
The duo were among 26 persons arrested last Tuesday after the police obtained a rare court order – the second of its kind after the Nov 25 Hindraf rally – to prevent members and supporters of the Coalition for Clean and Fair Elections (Bersih) from gathering in the vicinity of Parliament.
A delegation, however, was able to enter Parliament House to deliver a memorandum protesting the extension of the Election Commission chief’s retirement age. The constitutional amendment was passed unanimously, after all opposition members had walked out of the Dewan Rakyat in protest.
Of those arrested, 17 were released on police bail. They are required to report to the Jalan Duta court complex at 9am tomorrow, where they may face charges.