Soldier wins RM120,000 for unlawful detention for chopping down trees

Ridzuan Mohd Johari (left) with lawyer Mathan Anandaram outside the Johor High Court.

JOHOR BARU: A High Court here today ordered the government to pay RM120,000 in damages to a warrant officer for 60 days of unlawful detention.

Senior assistant registrar Lee Jun Keong, who was appointed to assess damages, also awarded RM2,500 in costs to Mohd Ridzuan Mohd Johari.

Last year, judge Ahmad Kamal Md Shahid found the defence ministry liable after allowing Ridzuan’s judicial review application.

On March 3, 2018, he attended a hearing before a commanding officer at Kem Iskandar, Tanjung Sekakap, Mersing, Johor, for an offence of cutting down trees without approval.

The act is said to be an offence under Section 87 of the Armed Forces Act 1972.

He was sentenced to three months’ detention in the camp and was demoted to a private

However, Ridzuan was later given a month’s reduction from detention.

In June 2018, he filed the judicial review to challenge the officer’s decision.

After a lengthy hearing and submission, on April 18 last year, Kamal’s detention and demotion was set aside.

Lawyer Mathan Anandaram, who represented Ridzuan, said the judge ruled that the officer’s decision was wrong in law and illegal.

Following the order, Lee today ruled on the assessment of damages.

Federal Counsel Azlan Bohari represented the government.

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