KUALA LUMPUR: Politician Datuk Seri Khairuddin Abu Hassan has been awarded RM300,000 in damages by the High Court for his unlawful detention seven years ago.

High Court judge Quay Chew Soon allowed Khairuddin’s suit against former inspector-general of police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar, former attorney general Tan Sri Mohamed Apandi Ali and six other individuals over his detention under the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act (Sosma).

“I allow the plaintiff’s claim for unlawful detention. But I dismiss the plaintiff’s claim for malicious prosecution,” Justice Quay said when delivering the decision via an online proceeding yesterday.

Lawyer Mohamed Haniff Khatri Abdulla represented Khairuddin while senior federal counsel Andi Razalijaya A. Dadi appeared for the eight defendants.

The six others were Asst Supt Wan Aeidil Wan Abdullah and Asst Supt C. Muniandy, both investigating officers at the Bukit Aman Classified Crime Investigation Unit, Dang Wangi deputy police chief Supt Habibi Majinji, deputy public prosecutor Datuk Masri Mohd Daud, senior federal counsel Awang Armadajaya Awang Mahmud and the government of Malaysia.

Khairuddin, who filed the suit in May 2018, claimed that he was detained on Sept 18, 2015, under Section 124C of the Penal Code and on Sept 23 the same year.

After being released, he was rearrested under Sosma and was in custody before being charged under Section 124L for attempting to sabotage the country’s banking and financial services.

The court also ordered the defendants to pay costs of RM50,000 to Khairuddin, reported Bernama.

Justice Quay said the defendants had unlawfully arrested and detained the plaintiff under Sosma.

For the first arrest, the defendants contended that the existence of the complainant police report is sufficient evidence that the requirement of arrest had been met.

“Based on the report, I do not see any material that warrants such arrest with regards to ‘an activity detrimental to parliamentary democracy’,” said the judge.

Justice Quay said it was fortified by the subsequent action of the defendants in deciding not to proceed with charging the plaintiff.

For the second arrest for 56 days, the judge found that the defendants had unlawfully arrested and detained Khairuddin under Sosma when the plaintiff was not investigated under an offence within the ambit of the Act.

On the plaintiff’s claim for malicious prosecution, the judge ruled that Khairuddin failed to prove on a balance of probabilities, malice on the part of the defendants.

Khairuddin, in a statement, said he was happy and grateful for the court’s decision, and that he would file an appeal on the amount of damages awarded.