Penang High Court awards RM197,600 to victim's family in custodial death case

GEORGE TOWN: The Penang High Court has ordered the government and the police to pay compensation totalling RM197,600 to the family of Mohd Fadzrin Zaidi, 29, who died in custody at Seberang Prai utara district police headquarters 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 on Monday (May 20).

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

During the proceedings, Anand said there had been negligence by the police in managing the lock-up, which led 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 personnel on duty.

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

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

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. – Bernama

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