Cops acted as executioners, court rules

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PUTRAJAYA: The Court of Appeal has awarded RM351,000 in damages to the next-of-kin of a car repossessor who was shot dead by police in 2008.

Judge Datuk Dr Hamid Sultan Abu Backer, who delivered the unanimous judgement yesterday, said police could not be executioners and the court had a constitutional duty to deal with “police excesses”.

“In this case, the shooting of the deceased by a police team within a space of 10 seconds is not an exercise of a spontaneous act of self-defence,” Hamid said in allowing the appeal by Abdul Jaafar Abdul Mutalib’s widow, Abra Bibi Shahul Hamid and daughter, Norasmira Abdul.Datuk Linton Albert and Vernon Ong were the other two judges on the bench.

Hamid said the court was mindful of police sacrifices in maintaining law and order but what was reprehensible and needs to be condemned is the fake encounter as in this case.

He said Abdul Jaafar’s shooting was a violation of the right to life as stated under Article 5 (1) of the Federal Constitution. “It is an unlawful shooting,” he added.

The court awarded RM51,000 in dependency claims and another RM300,000 in exemplary damages. — by V Anbalagan/The Malaysian Insider

This article first appeared in The Edge Financial Daily, on October 9, 2014.