Friday, October 19, 2007

DAP’s Liu wins suit against police (From the PAST - 11/7/06)

DAP’s Liu wins suit against police
Andrew Ong
Jul 11, 06 5:37pm

The police have been ordered to compensate DAP central committee member Ronnie Liu RM21,220 for injuries suffered during his run-in with riot police in 1995.

Shah Alam Sessions Court judge Latifah Mohd Tahar allowed his claims with costs today, ending a nine-year wait for the case to be resolved.

Liu was awarded RM18,000 for aggravated damages, RM3,000 for general damages and RM220 for special damages on claims of injuries caused by assault and distress.

Latifah, however, did not allow a claim for exemplary damages as the actions of the defendants - Petaling Jaya district police chief and the Inspector-General of Police - were not characterised as oppression, arbitrary or against the Federal Constitution.

Before announcing the quantum of damages, the judge said she had considered the fact that the defendants had not disputed their vicarious liabilities.

“Even though powers were given (to the police), no one is above the law,” she said.

The courtroom was packed with DAP supporters and also several members of Kampung Taman Aman, who later garlanded Liu to celebrate his victory.

Liu was represented by Gobind Singh Deo and A Magesan.

Case for IPCMC

Approached later, Liu hoped that the judgment would remind the police not to abuse their powers in future.

“The police have the right to arrest, but not to beat up anyone in carrying out their duties,” said Liu.

He also said that his case reveals the urgent need for the Independent Police Misconduct and Complaints Commission to be set up, as proposed by a royal police commission.

According to his statement of claims filed in 1998, he was beaten by five baton-wielding Federal Reserve Unit (FRU) personnel at Kampung Taman Aman, Petaling Jaya during the demolition of squatter houses on Sept 18, 1995.

The area was being cleared to make way for the Paramount Garden LRT station.

He claimed he had approached one deputy supt Sulaiman, who was leading the five FRU personnel, for the court order in relation to the demolition.

However, Liu said they surrounded and beat him although he was unarmed. He claimed to have sustained injuries to the forearm, collarbone and abdomen and a six-inch laceration on the chin.

In their reply filed on March 16, 1999, the defendants alleged that Liu’s injuries were the result of self-negligence and that his words and actions had created pandemonium at the scene. They also alleged that he was trying to stop public servants from performing their duties.

The IGP at the time was Rahim Mohd Noor, while the Petaling Jaya OCPD was Johar Che Din.

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