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Monday, August 8, 2011

Mahfuz, Salahuddin sue IGP, govt over Bersih arrests

Sulaiman Kamal | 4:00 PM | | | | | | Best Blogger Tips

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PAS vice presidents Mahfuz Omar and Salahuddin Ayub have decided to sue the Inspector-General of Police, the Malaysian government and two other senior cops for unlawful arrest during the Bersih 2.0 rally on July 9.
Mahfuz, 54, and Salahuddin Ayub, 50, accused the cops of mala fide in separate suits filed by their lawyer Zulhazmi Shariff at the Kuala Lumpur High court on Monday. Both  leaders claimed general compensation, exemplary damages, costs and any relief deemed fit by the court.

"We are filing these lawsuits as a reminder and lesson to government bodies to be meticulous and cautious in carrying out their duties. This is not for us but a lesson to the authorities that laws must be observed justly and not as how we were treated on July 9," Salahuddin told reporters outside the courtroom.
The other two officers named in the suit were Insp Mohd Zaid Madzizat from the Brickfields district police station and the Brickfields district police chief Wan Abdul Bari Wan Abdul Khalid.
Attempted murder
Both PAS leaders were arrested at KL Sentral, where other opposition bigwigs had been targeted by the police. In particular, Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim was badly hurt by the police firing of tear gas canisters at the group as they emerged to join the Bersih rally in Stadium Merdeka. Also arrested was PAS president Hadi Awang. PKR leaders have accused the police of attempted murder against Anwar, whose body guard suffered severe facila injuries.
Meamwhile, Mahfuz said the two had not done anything wrong when they were arrested at KL Sentral and were not aware why they were arrested.
“We were not informed of the reason of our arrest when we were detained at Jinjang police station nor was any statement taken from us. We feel this act has shamed us especially since Salahuddin and I have contacts nationally and internationally,” he told reporters.
Mahfuz said that the amount of damages that the two are seeking is not decided but it should be significant to deter a repeat of the incident.
"We will discuss with our lawyers the sum (of the lawsuit) when the case is heard. The authorities have to be reminded not to violate the law as they please, so for me, the amount should be no less than RM1 million to prevent a repeat of such a situation,” he added.
PAS plans to file 50 individual suits against the government and police for indiscriminate arrests made on July 9.

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