SHAH ALAM, April 17 ― The family members of Aminulrasyid Amzah filed a RM50 million “unlawful killing” lawsuit against the police and the government today, in a case that could reignite public anger among voters here over how the schoolboy was shot 21 times by police in 2010.
Flanked by incumbent PAS MP Khalid Samad, the family’s decision to sue will provide Pakatan Rakyat (PR) fodder in the campaign for Shah Alam, now a major focus of Election 2013 after Barisan Nasional (BN) named controversial Islamic firebrand Zulkifli Noordin as its candidate there yesterday.
“We are suing for negligence in the discharge of duties, where the police went on a shooting spree,” Aminulrasyid’s family lawyer, N. Surendran, told reporters at the High Court lobby here today.
The High Court here overturned last December the conviction of policeman Corporal Jenain Subi for causing the death of 14-year-old Aminulrasyid in a high-speed car chase in Shah Alam about three years ago.
Aminulrasyid was killed in the early hours of April 26 in 2010, after taking a midnight joyride in a car and allegedly mistaken for a felon on the run by the police.
He had been driving a white Proton Iswara with his best friend and neighbour, 15-year-old Muhammad Azamuddin Omar in the front passenger seat. Their car had crashed into the curb at Jalan Tarian 11/2, Section 11 following a police pursuit.
A public outcry followed as the police sought to defend themselves over the incident as well as dubitable reports of the discovery of a machete in the car driven by Aminulrasyid.
But in September 2011, Jenain had been found guilty of culpable homicide not amounting to murder and sentenced to five years’ jail after Sessions Court judge Latifah Mohd Tahar ruled that the use of lethal force to stop Aminulrasyid’s car was excessive and uncalled for.
Jenain had admitted to firing 21 bullets from his Heckler & Koch MP5 submachine gun at Aminulrasyid’s Proton Iswara in an effort to stop the car — which had earlier run a roadblock — but denied trying to kill the teenager.
Aminulrasyid’s mother, Norsiah Mohamad, and sister, Nor Azura Amzah, named Jenain as the first defendant, and listed the Shah Alam OCPD, then-Selangor police chief Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar, the Inspector-General of Police, and the Malaysian government as subsequent defendants in their suit.
In overturning Jenain’s conviction, Justice Abdul Rahman Sebli had said the evidence did not support any suggestion that the policeman intended to kill the boy.
Surendran, however, hit out at the police today for refusing to retract statements accusing Aminulrasyid of being a criminal, pointing out that the court had never heard evidence of the matter.
“After three years, no one has been punished,” said Surendran, who is also a PKR vice-president.
Khalid said Aminulrasyid’s death showed that the police could “do anything and simply shoot people.”
“It’s very disappointing where the life of a human being is not considered important and can be sacrificed,” he said.
Aminulrasyid’s death triggered public outcry over alleged police brutality, prompting caretaker prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak to then promise open and transparent investigations.
Asked why the suit was being filed in the run-up to Election 2013, Surendran said that they could not wait for the results of the appeal filed against the High Court decision, pointing out that the family had an April 26 deadline to file the civil suit against the government.
“Lawsuits against the government must be filed within three years,” he said.
Shah Alam, a Malay-majority area, is the capital of Selangor, the wealthiest state in the country that BN is fighting tooth and nail to wrest back from PR in the 13th general election.
BY BOO SU-LYN, The Malaysian Insider
APRIL 17, 2013