Published: Tuesday October 9, 2012 MYT 10:27:00 PM
Witness tells court he pleaded with Kelantan prince to seek acting Sultanís permission
KUALA LUMPUR: The Sultan of Kelantan's private secretary told the High Court on Tuesday that he had pleaded with Tengku Muhammad Fakhry Petra to seek the permission of the then Acting Sultan to drive the Bentley Brooklands car out of Istana Mahkota in Kubang Kerian on July 30 2009.
Datuk Nik Shafriman Nik Hassan, 35, testified that Tengku Muhammad Fakhry ignored his plea and instead said he would contact the Acting Sultan, Tengku Muhammad Faris Petra, after he had driven the car out of the palace grounds.
"The plaintiff (Tengku Muhammad Fakhry) said he'll seek permission from the Acting Sultan if I unlocked the Bentley's steering lock," he said at the hearing of the RM150mil wrongful confinement suit brought by Tengku Muhammad Fakhry against Inspector General of Police (IGP), Tan Sri Ismail Omar and three others.
The plaintiff filed the suit on Dec 9 last year, naming the IGP; the Kelantan Sultan's chief personal bodyguard , Insp Norazman Ismail; Kelantan police chief at the time, Datuk Abdul Rahim Hanafi, and the Royal Malaysian Police as the first to fourth defendants respectively.
In his statement of claim, Tengku Muhammad Fakhry alleged that he was wrongfully confined on July 30, 2009 in the compound of Istana Mahkota, Kubang Kerian as he was about to leave in a Bentley Brooklands car.
He is seeking RM100mil in general damages, RM50mil in aggravated and exemplary damages, interest at a rate of four percent, costs and other relief deemed fit by the court.
Nik Shafriman added that Tengku Muhammad Fakry only had the car key but not its steering lock key.
The third defence witness said the car's steering lock key was with the official driver of the vehicle at the time, who later came to the palace and handed it over to him.
During cross-examination by defence counsel A.S. Dhaliwal, who suggested that none of these incidents had actually taken place, Nik Shafriman refuted it saying there were no other witnesses there at the time apart from Tengku Muhammad Fakry and himself.
Meanwhile, the Sultan of Kelantan's chief personal bodyguard at the time, Insp Norazman Ismail, told the court that at 9 pm of July 29 2009 Nik Shafriman had contacted him to relay the Acting Sultan's order prohibiting Tengku Muhammad Fakhry from taking the car.
The fifth defence witness said Nik Shafriman had also informed him that Tengku Muhammad Fakry and his entourage would be arriving at Istana Mahkota the next day to take the Bentley.
Cross-examined by Dhaliwal, Noorazman, 40, said he carried out the order relayed by Nik Shafriman without checking with the acting Sultan.
He agreed with Dhaliwal that he considered the order to be appropriate but disagreed with the counsel's suggestion that he had erred by not checking on it.
Earlier in the proceedings, first defence witness, DCP Datuk Abd Rahim Hanafi, who was Kelantan police chief at the time, testified that there were no orders prohibiting Tengku Muhammad Fakhry from entering or leaving the palace grounds.
Abd Rahim, who is now Penang police chief, also admitted that on duty police personnel had to be issued with regulation fire arms under the Inspector General of Police Permanent Orders.
The defence proceedings came to an end Tuesday and Judge Datin Zabariah Mohd Yusof fixed Oct 17 for submissions. - Bernama