The Kuala Lumpur High Court, today dismissed the Police and Government’s application to strike out Bersih 2007 police brutality suit brought by Aleyasak Bin Hamid @ Hassan. On 12 August 2010 Aleyasak sued the Police and the Government for unlawful arrest, unlawful detention and assault by the FRU personnel during the Bersih 2007 peaceful assembly.
The Senior Federal Counsel contended that the police brutality suit ought to be struck out as Aleyasak has failed to name each and every individual FRU personnel who had severely assaulted him during Bersih 2007 claiming the Federal Court’s case of Lay Kee Tee requires the victim to name each and every officer who is directly responsible for the alleged tortious act as a party to the suit as it was argued that it would be insufficient to merely identify the officer without making him a party
However Justice John Louis Ohara in his judgment today stated that in this case, Aleyasak could not have identified FRU personnel who had severely assaulted him while he was assembling and reciting prayers during the Bersih 2007 peaceful assembly as the FRU personnel were wearing protective gears which covered their identity. This fact therefore can be distinguished from the Federal Court’s decision in Lay Kee Tee.
The Judge further stated that it would be unfair since it would deprive Aleyasak of the opportunity to prove his claims in a full trial.
The Judge also ruled that since they have already denied the assault in their Statement of Defence therefore it would be an exercise in futility to require Aleyasak to inquire from the police details of the FRU personnel who had severely assaulted him.
Lawyers for Liberty believes the Court’s decision underscores the most significant aspects of civil society’s campaign against police brutality cases where in most cases the victims are unable to identify the government officers involved.
The Senior Federal Counsel was also denied a stay of proceedings pending appeal when he made the application verbally before the Judge today.
Lawyers for Liberty reminds the Federal Counsel not to deny victims of State abuse of their right to remedy by attempting to seek court order to strike out their genuine claims summarily.
Aleyasak was represented by Senior Counsel Sivarasa Rasiah together with Lawyers for Liberty’s Fadiah Nadwa Fikri and Afiq M Noor.
Issued by Lawyers For Liberty
7 October 2011