Teresa Kok wins RM350,000 in ISA suit on appeal

Justice Varghese George Varughese ordered the government to pay RM200,000 for general and RM150,000 in aggravated and exemplary damages to Seputeh MP Teresa Kok (pic). ― Picture by Saw Siow Feng
Justice Varghese George Varughese ordered the government to pay RM200,000 for general and RM150,000 in aggravated and exemplary damages to Seputeh MP Teresa Kok (pic). ― Picture by Saw Siow Feng

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PUTRAJAYA, July 26 ― Seputeh MP Teresa Kok was today awarded RM350,000 by the Court of Appeal in her lawsuit against the government over her arrest and detention under the repealed Internal Security Act in 2008.

In the judgment read out by Justice Varghese George Varughese who was part of a three-man panel, it said the authorities should have investigated the allegations against Kok properly before detaining her.

It then reversed a previous High Court decision dismissing Kok's suit and ordered the government to pay RM200,000 for general and RM150,000 in aggravated and exemplary damages to the DAP vice chairman.

“I really thank the Court of Appeal for giving justice to me. This proves that I have been arrested wrongfully and unjustly,” Kok told reporters after the hearing.

“And all these accusations thrown against me that time, we just came into power, the enemy tried to paint anti-Islam, anti-Malay image on the Pakatan Rakyat government and myself. Now you hear very clearly from the judges saying all these allegations are without basis.”

On March 13, 2009, Kok filed the civil suit against the police and Malaysian government for damages over her alleged wrongful arrest and detention.

In her statement of claim, Kok said she was arrested by the defendants at 11.15pm on September 12, 2008 and was not allowed to contact her lawyer or relatives during a two-hour detention that followed.

At 2am the next day, she was informed at the Wangsa Maju police station that she was being detained under ISA's Section 73 (1) for allegedly taking part in activities that could cause racial tension.

Kok said she was then detained without trial at a secret location until her release on September 19, 2008.

She said that her arrest had been conducted negligently and arbitrarily, causing her severe mental stress, pain and suffering.

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