Zunar wants the court to declare that his arrest was done in bad faith, and order the return of his books which were seized.

KUALA LUMPUR: Cartoonist Zulkiflee SM UlHaque, better known as Zunar, and his company, Sepakat Efektif Sdn Bhd today filed a civil suit here against the police and the government.

The suit was for Zunar’s “wrongful arrest” and the eizure of his book “Cartoon-o-phobia” and an original political cartoon drawing in September 2010.

His lawyers, Latheefa Koya and Fadiah Nadia Fikri, said: “We are filing the suit against ASP Arikrishna Apparau, investigating officer Marina Hashim, Inspector-General of Police Ismail Omar, the Home Ministry and the government.”

Latheefa told reporters that Zunar was initially arrested under the Sedition Act 1948 on Sept 24, 2010.

A total of 66 copies of “Cartoon-o-Phobia” was also confiscated along with the A2 sized cartoon.

“However when pressed further, the police had told my client that it (the seizure) was under the Printing Presses and Publications Act,” she said.

She also queried the police’s motive in moving Zunar to seven police stations and remanding him at the Sepang police station even though the officers were from the Brickfields police station.

Zunar, who was also present, said that the police were determined to confiscate all 3,000 copies of his book “Cartoon-o-Phobia”.

“As a consequence, no shop dares to sell my book as they can be charged with sedition. Even the printers dare not to print my work because they were threatened,” he added.

Seeking damages

Zunar hoped that the court would declare that his arrest was done in bad faith. The cartoonist was also seeking exemplary damages as follows:

a) The return of the 66 copies of “Cartoon-o-phobia” or RM 1,650 which is the value of the confiscated copies.

b) The return of the A2 sized black and white cartoon painting.

Zunar and his company were also seeking general damages, interest on general damages at the rate of 8% a year, interest on specific relief at the rate of 4% a year since Sept 24, 2010 up to judgment day, cost and other appropriate reliefs.

By K Pragalath | June 15, 2011