Court Awards Ahmad’s Family RM213,000 Rules MACC Negligent

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PUTRAJAYA – The Court of Appeal today ruled that negligence by the Malaysian
Anti-Corruption Commission led to the death of Selangor Customs assistant director
Ahmad Sarbaini Mohamed five years ago, and awarded RM213,000 in damages to his
family.

Justice Datuk Mohd Zawawi Salleh, who chaired a three-man bench comprising
also Justices Datuk Vernon Ong Lam Kiat and Datuk Abdul Rahman Sebli, awarded
the damages to Ahmad Sarbaini’s widow Masiah alias Maziah Manap, 55, and son
Shahril, 32, when allowing their civil suit against the respondents.

The damages comprised RM3,000 in burial cost, RM10,000 for bereavement and
RM200,000 in aggravated damages. The court also awarded RM20,000 in legal costs
to Ahmad Sarbaini’s family for court proceedings at the High Court and Court of
Appeal.

The respondents were the MACC, the Government, the MACC chief commissioner,
director Mohamed Yussuf Akope and five officers – Mohamad Fauzi Hussin, Sheikh
Niza Khairy Sheikh Mohamed, L. Baskar, Mohd Rosly Mohd Saupi and Kamal Awang
Besar.

Ahmad Sarbaini, who was attached to the Port Klang Customs, was found dead
on the first floor of the MACC building in Jalan Cochrane, Kuala Lumpur, on
April 6, 2011. He was 56.

Justice Mohd Zawawi said there was an internal directive that any
investigation of suspects must be carried out on the first floor of the MACC
premises.
“In Ahmad Sarbaini’s case, the investigation was carried out in a room on
the third floor of the building,” he said.

The judge also said that there was a directive that Ahmad Sarbaini, who had
gone to the MACC office in relation to a bribery case, should be guarded at all
times to avoid the possibility of something bad happening to the suspect.

Justice Mohd Zawawi held that the Kuala Lumpur High Court was in error when
it rejected the civil claim brought by Ahmad Sarbaini’s family.

The court subsequently allowed the appeal brought by his family to set aside
the High Court decision of Aug 17 last year that had dismissed their civil suit.

In her statement of claim, Masiah said her husband’s death was a result of
the latter sustaining serious injuries inflicted by the respondents.

On Sept 26, 2011, the Coroner’s Court delivered a verdict of misadventure
and concluded that there were no elements of suicide, homicide or third party
involvement in the death of Ahmad Sarbaini.

Outside the court, Masiah, who was in tears, said “Alhamdulillah (Praise be
to God), syukur dan biar arwah tenang di sana (grateful, and may you be at peace
there).”

Her counsel, Razlan Hadri Zulkefli, said the suit was initiated not for the
money but for justice.

Senior federal counsel Kamal Azira Hassan, representing the respondents,
said he would seek instruction on whether to bring the matter up to the Federal
Court. – Bernama