KUALA LUMPUR: A civil suit brought by the late Teoh Beng Hock's family against the Malaysian Anti Corruption Commission (MACC), the Government and 12 others for negligence over his death has been settled without the case going to trial.
The defendants agreed to pay the plaintiffs RM600,000 in damages, and High Court judge Justice Rosnaini Saub also instructed the defendants to pay costs of RM60,000.
Justice Rosnaini later recorded the settlement in the presence of Senior Federal Counsel Kamal Azira Hassan and counsel Gobind Singh Deo, who appeared for the deceased's family.
Earlier during the proceedings, Gobind informed Justice Rosnaini that the parties had agreed to settle the suit.
When contacted, SFC Kamal Azira said parties agreed for the defendants to pay RM600,000 damages as final and full settlement under Section 7 and 8 of the Civil Law Act.
He also clarified that it was basically the Government that needed to pay the damages.
"The settlement is for the negligence claim by the plaintiffs against the 14 defendants," SFC Kamal Azira said.
He said as for an action for assault and battery, the plaintiffs have to rely on the Court of Appeal decision on Sept 5, last year, for the police to carry out an investigation against those responsible in causing the death of Teoh.
On Sept 5, the Court of Appeal panel unanimously held that Teoh's death was caused by multiple injuries from a fall from the 14th floor of Plaza Masalam as a result of, or which was accelerated by an unlawful act or acts of persons unknown, inclusive of Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) officers who were involved in his arrest and investigation.
Court of Appeal judge Justice Mohamad Ariff Md Yusof, who chaired a three-man panel, allowed the appeal by Teoh's brother, Teoh Meng Kee, against the decision of the Shah Alam High Court which had on Dec 1, 2011 dismissed their application for a revision into Teoh's inquest and upheld a coroner's open verdict.
Teoh, 30, the political secretary to Selangor executive councillor Ean Yong Hian Wah, was found dead on July 16, 2009 on the fifth floor corridor of Plaza Masalam in Shah Alam after he had given a statement at the office of the Selangor MACC branch on the 14th floor of the building.
In the amended claim filed on Feb 7, 2013, Teoh's father Teoh Leong Hwee, mother Teng Shuw Hoi, Soh and Teoh's son Teoh Er Jia were named as plaintiffs. They filed their first claim on Oct 3, 2012.
The four plaintiffs named the MACC, Government and 12 others as defendants.
In their lawsuit, Teoh's family claimed that the MACC had failed to give an explanation on how he was found dead at the scene.
They said that MACC officers had wrongly attacked Teoh, causing him fear, torment, extreme distress and apprehension of immediate physical violence and they sought damages for loss of dependency, sadness, negligence, costs and relief deemed fit by the court.
Coroner Azmil Muntapha Abas had given an open verdict in January 2011 that the death of political aide was not a suicide, nor was it homicide.