Khairuddin, Chang to sue over detention, prosecution

Haniff-KhatriKUALA LUMPUR: Former Umno leader Khairuddin Abu Hassan and lawyer Matthias Chang, who were acquitted by the Sessions Court here today of a charge of financial sabotage, will sue the government for unlawful detention and malicious prosecution.

Khairuddin’s lawyer Mohamed Haniff Khatri Abdulla said the lawsuit would include an action for defamation by government leaders, including Prime Minister Najib Razak.

“The suit will be filed after the Dewan Rakyat is dissolved for the coming general election,” Haniff said, adding the public ought to know about the unjust act done to Khairuddin and Chang.

Yesterday, the prosecution discontinued its prosecution against the duo on a charge of sabotaging the nation’s banking and financial services, and sought a discharge not amounting to an acquittal for them.

Khairuddin and Chang were charged for lodging police reports against the scandal-hit 1MDB in Switzerland, the United Kingdom, France, Hong Kong and Singapore between June 28 and Aug 26, 2015.

Judge Wan Norisham Wan Yaakob said today an outright acquittal was appropriate as the prosecution had not presented any evidence linking them to the charge.

Haniff told reporters after the judge’s decision that the verdict concluded both were innocent of the charge although police used the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act (Sosma) 2012 to detain them.

“They were branded as terrorists,” he added.

He alleged the government had conducted a malicious prosecution for framing a charge that had no connection with their actions outside Malaysia.

Haniff also said the prime minister, his deputy Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, Attorney-General Mohamed Apandi Ali and Inspector-General of Police Khalid Abu Bakar made defamatory statements against the two while they were under detention.

Meanwhile, Muhammad Rafique Rashid Ali, who was in the duo’s legal team, said Khairuddin had to go overseas to lodge complaints as his police report on 1MDB made locally on Dec 12, 2014 was not investigated.

“During detention, Khairuddin gave four police statements as to why he was forced to go overseas,” he said.

Rafique said he and several lawyers went overseas in December 2015 to verify the reports Khairuddin made in five countries.

“He wanted those countries to probe into the 1MDB as their financial institutions were implicated,” he added.