Appeals court set March 6, next year to hear govt’s appeal in Khairuddin’s unlawful detention lawsuit

PUTRAJAYA — The Court of Appeal has set March 6, next year to hear the government’s appeal against the High Court’s decision to award RM300,000 in damages to politician Datuk Seri Khairuddin Abu Hassan (picture) for unlawful detention under the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012 (Sosma).

When contacted by Bernama, Khairuddin’s counsel Mohamed Haniff Khatri Abdullah confirmed that the new hearing date was fixed during a case management session before Court of Appeal deputy registrar Norkamilah Aziz this afternoon.

Earlier today, the appellate court’s three-member bench comprising Justices Datuk S.Nantha Balan, Datuk Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali and Datuk Dr Choo Kah Sing postponed the appeal hearing as they wanted both Khairuddin’s counsel and senior federal counsel Andi Razalijaya A. Dadi, appearing for the government, to submit further submissions on the malicious prosecution issue. The court was supposed to hear the appeal today via online.

Justice Nantha Balan then fixed this afternoon for case management to set the new hearing date.

“It (the appeal) touches on deprivation of Khairuddin’s liberty for a limited period and so I think it is only fair he sits in open court and hear what has taken place rather than watching it (the proceedings) through a computer,” he said.

In May 2018, Khairuddin filed the lawsuit against the Inspector-General of Police,  former Attorney-General Tan Sri Mohamed Apandi Ali, the government of Malaysia and five other individuals.

The individuals are Bukit Aman officers Wan Aeidil Wan Abdullah and Muniandy Chelliah, former Dang Wangi deputy police chief Habibi Majinji, deputy public prosecutor Datuk Masri Mohd Daud and former senior federal counsel Awang Armadajaya Awang Mahmud.

In his lawsuit, Khairuddin claimed that he was initially detained by authorities on Sept 18, 2015 under Section 124C of the Penal Code.

After the court ordered his release, he was rearrested on Sept 23, the same year under Sosma and charged in the Magistrate’s Court under Section 124L of the same act on charges of attempting to sabotage the country’s banking and financial services.

In Aug last year, the High Court allowed Khairuddin’s claim for unlawful detention and awarded him damages of RM300,000.

High Court judge Datuk Quay Chew Soon, however, dismissed the former Batu Kawan Umno division deputy chief’s (Khairuddin’s) claim against the government for malicious prosecution.

The government is appealing to the Court of Appeal against the High Court’s decision over liability for unlawful detention while Khairuddin is appealing against the quantum of damages and over the High Court’s dismissal of his claim of malicious prosecution against the government. — BERNAMA / pic TMR FILE