Death in custody: High Court awards RM197,600 compensation

Mohd Fadzrin, a grave digger, had been apprehended in Kampung Perlis under Section 39B of the Dangerous Drugs Act 1952. Subsequently, he was found dead, believed to have hanged himself in the lock-up at the SPU IPD on Nov 20, 2019.

20 May 2024 05:14pm
Photo for illustration purpose only. - File photo
Photo for illustration purpose only. - File photo
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GEORGE TOWN - The Penang High Court today ordered the government and the Royal Malaysia Police to pay compensation totalling RM197,600 to the family of Mohd Fadzrin Zaidi, 29, who died while in custody at Seberang Perai Utara District Police Headquarters (SPU IPD) in 2019.

The Court determined a payment of RM50,000 for legal costs, RM57,600 for loss of dependency, RM30,000 for pain and suffering, RM50,000 for aggravated damages, RM3,000 for funeral expenses, RM5,000 for the cost of obtaining letters of administration for the estate and RM2,000 for travel expenses.

Judge Datuk P. Anand rendered the decision on compensation for Fadzrin's mother, Fadhelah Othman, 56, following the conclusion of the civil suit proceedings she initiated against the government and the police, in the High Court today.

In 2022, Fadhelah initiated a lawsuit against the government of Malaysia and other defendants, including the Inspector-General of Police, Penang police chief, SPU police chief as well as SPU IPD police personnel.

During the proceedings, Anand said there had been negligence by the police in managing the lock-up, leading to the detainee's death.

"During the incident, negligence was identified, such as the failure to monitor closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras continuously and the dereliction of duty by the personnel on duty.

"These aspects should have been monitored to prevent detainee fatalities in the lock-up," he said.

Earlier, media reports indicated that Mohd Fadzrin, a grave digger, had been apprehended in Kampung Perlis under Section 39B of the Dangerous Drugs Act 1952. Subsequently, he was found dead, believed to have hanged himself in the lock-up at the SPU IPD on Nov 20, 2019.

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The defendants were represented by senior federal counsel Nur Ezdiani Roleb and federal counsel Syafiq Affandy Hassan, whereas the plaintiff was represented by M. Visvanathan, V. Sanjay Nathan and V. Pushan Qin Nathan.

Meanwhile, when met at the High Court compound, Fadhelah said despite the exhaustion from commuting between Seberang Perai and the Penang High Court in George Town over the past two years, today's court decision made it all feel worthwhile. - BERNAMA