LIMBANG: On Friday June 22, 2012 two Police officers who abused their positions of trust were ordered by the High Court In Limbang to pay as damages RM10,000 to each of two school boys and a member of the public.
They were also ordered to pay RM5,000 to the second plaintiff for causing injuries.
They were fined for assault and false imprisonment.
Lawyer Baru Bian, who represented them said: “We are thankful that justice has prevailed for the plaintiffs in this case, who were innocent (and young, in the case of two) victims made to suffer at the hands of the very people paid by taxpayers to protect them.”
Giving a full account of the incident, he said that three plaintiffs, two of them students, succeeded in a suit against the Police and the government of Malaysia for assault and false imprisonment.
“The case arose from a futsal match between the Police team and the Bada Buda Team from a local school, during which a disagreement occurred. The second defendant, L/P Jamel Fernandez Mohamad ran onto the field and assaulted one of the players.
“The first plaintiff, Umar Selutan, stopped the assault and the game was aborted. The following day, Umar was called to the Lawas police station to explain the incident, but was accused of starting the fight and put in lock-up without being told of the reasons for his detention.
“He was released after 55 hours in detention without any charge being proffered against him,” said Bian.
The second and third plaintiffs (Awangku and Steven) and another player were picked up from their school by police officers the day after the match and taken to the police station, where they were accused of assaulting the police team.
L/P Jamel and the first defendant Inspector Khairul Anuar bin Omar then assaulted Awangku in the office of another officer.
The two schoolboys were put in lock-up and were released 28.5 hours later without any charges being proffered against them, said Bian.
Awangku only received medical treatment for the injuries sustained from the assault after he was released from lock-up.
Bian said: “All three plaintiffs were not given the opportunity to consult a lawyer at any time. The plaintiffs claimed that the defendants had violated their duty to uphold the peace but instead had assaulted Awangku.
“They further claimed that they had been humiliated and treated like criminals, and as a result, suffered trauma and shame and/or damage and/or injuries as a result of their illegal arrest and false imprisonment.
“The High Court in Limbang allowed the claims of the plaintiffs for damages and costs against Inspector Khairul, L/P Jamel and the Government of Malaysia. The defendants were ordered to pay RM10,000 as damages to each plaintiff and RM5,000 as costs for causing injuries to the second plaintiff while in police detention,” he said.
Disciplinary action by their department is likely to be taken them.
“We hope that today’s ruling will serve to remind those in authority not to abuse their positions of trust,” said Bian, who is Sarawak PKR Chief, said.
Meanwhile, a number of cases are pending against Police Officers who have allegedly abused their power for false imprisonment of native land owners who have defended their rights against encroaching in to their NCR land.
Instead of the culprits who should be arrested for destroying their NCR land and their fruit trees, the landowners who lodged the reports have been arrested.
Unhappy with the Police action, the detained NCR landowners sue the Police.