Lawyer hails Khairuddin as ‘trigger’ who opened up 1MDB scandal

Former Batu Kawan Umno division leader Khairuddin Abu Hassan has sued the government and eight others for damages over his detention under a security law.

KUALA LUMPUR: The High Court was told today that former Batu Kawan Umno division chief Khairuddin Abu Hassan was the person who triggered the string of revelations about 1MDB which led to the downfall of the Barisan Nasional government at the 2018 general election.

Mohamed Haniff Khatri Abdulla, representing Khairuddin, said that his client’s effort and courage to report the 1MDB scandal on Dec 12, 2014 had facilitated the authority’s efforts to resolve the case.

“(It was) The revelations that led to legal action being taken against the parties involved, either still in court, having been convicted and sentenced, or awaiting appeal or case disposal,” he said in his opening statement on the first day of the trial in Khairuddin’s suit against former Inspector-General of Police Khalid Abu Bakar and seven others over his detention and charges under the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act.

The lawyer said Khairuddin had lodged a report to the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission in December 2014, which led to the establishment of a special task force involving the attorney-general (Abdul Gani Patail), Bank Negara Malaysia governor (Zeti Akhtar Aziz), MACC chief commissioner (Abu Kassim Mohamed) and the IGP (Khalid) on Jan 15, 2015.

But no effective action took place at that time, he said.

“On July 27, 2015, the country saw Abdul Gani’s dismissal and betrayal of one individual in the special task force which halted the efforts to reveal the 1MDB scandal. The plaintiff (Khairuddin) then proceeded to report 1MDB issues in England, France and Switzerland.

“As a result of these efforts, our country can see how follow-up actions have been taken by authorities in other countries such as the United States, England, Switzerland, Luxembourg, Singapore until the guilty parties were brought to justice while several others are still facing justice,” he said.

Haniff said that the whole government machinery under the prime minister (then Najib Razak) had been deployed and used to detain and arrest Khairuddin upon his return from abroad.

“The arrest has caused the plaintiff to lose his freedom from Sept 18, 2015, and he has taken all the necessary actions in court until he was granted release from Sosma detention on Nov 18, 2015, as well as being acquitted and discharged from a charge under the Penal Code on May 12, 2017,” he said.

Haniff said Khairuddin was entitled to an assessment of damages reflecting the wrongful detention and charges imposed on him.

In May 2018, Khairuddin filed the suit against Bukit Aman officers Wan Aeidil Wan Abdullah and C Muniandy; Dang Wangi deputy chief Habibi Majinji and IGP Khalid. Also named as defendants were deputy public prosecutor Masri Mohd Daud, senior federal counsel Awang Armadajaya Awang Mahmud, then attorney-general Mohamed Apandi Ali and the government of Malaysia.

Khairuddin alleged he was detained by the authorities on Sept 18, 2015 under the Penal Code and on Sept 23 the same year, after being released, rearrested under Sosma and kept in detention before being charged on allegations of attempting to sabotage the country’s banking and financial services.

In all, he was detained for 60 days at Sungai Buloh Prison until May 12, 2017 when the court was told that the prosecution would not be continuing prosecution and Khairuddin was discharged and acquitted.

Khairuddin alleged that the actions against him were conducted with malicious intent and violated his right to freedom and tarnished his reputation and image as a politician.

The trial continues tomorrow before Judicial Commissioner Quay Chew Soon and Khairuddin is expected to take the stand.

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