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Book Seizure: Zunar Awarded RM18,000 Special Damages

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KUALA LUMPUR – The High Court here today ruled that cartoonist Zulkiflee SM Anwar Ulhaque or better known as Zunar will receive RM18,000 in special damages for the unlawful seizure of 66 books and a painting.

His lawyer Latheefa Koya told reporters that High Court deputy registrar K. Pavani recorded the award settlement in chambers.

The Malaysian government and Royal Malaysian Police would pay the sum to Zulkiflee and book distributor, Sepakat Efektif Sdn Bhd.

The defendants in the case were ASP A.Arikrishna, ASP Marina Hashim, former Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Ismail Omar, Home Ministry and Malaysian Government, who were represented by federal counsel Safiyyah Omar.

The proceeding today was to assess special damages due to Zulkiflee after the High Court allowed his suit against the defendants.

On July 31, 2012, the High Court ruled that Zulkiflee’s arrest and detention by police in 2010 was lawful but not the seizure of 66 copies of his book titled, ‘Cartoon-0-phobia’ and a cartoon painting.

The court also ordered the items to be returned to the cartoonist. The decision was upheld by the Court of Appeal on Nov 1, 2013.

In his lawsuit filed on June 15, 2011, Zulkiflee claimed that on Sept 24, 2010 at 4pm, a police team led by ASP Arikrishna raided his office and arrested him, besides seizing the books and cartoon painting.

In his statement of claim, Zulkiflee questioned the basis for his arrest and detention and confiscation of his books and painting, alleging that the action was unlawful under the Federal Constitution and an attempt to sabotage the launch of his book.- BERNAMA

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