Wednesday August 1, 2012
Cartoonist to get back seized books and collage
By M. MAGESWARI
KUALA LUMPUR: Political cartoonist Zulkiflee S.M. Anwar Ulhaque won his claim against the Government and four others over the seizure of 66 of his books and a collage in 2010.
High Court Judicial Commissioner Vazeer Alam Mydin Meera held that the continued detention of the books and the collage without any further action by the police was unwarranted and unlawful.
“The books and collage were suspected to contain seditious materials. It would have been a simple determination to make. Surely, it would not take two years to make that determination,” he said.
In a suit filed last year, Zulkiflee, popularly known as Zunar, claimed he had suffered damages and losses due to the seizure of the items by the police.
Vazeer said evidence was adduced that several bookshops had returned the books to the plaintiffs whilst some others refused to sell them.
“The continued detention of the books had deprived Zulkiflee of his livelihood,” he said.
However, Vazeer held that Zulkiflee’s detention was lawful and that the defendants had explained to him why he had to be taken to several police stations after his arrest.
“I find that explanation to be plausible. In the circumstance, I find the initial arrest is lawful,” he said.
Zulkiflee’s lawyer N. Surendran said they might consider appealing on the ruling that the detention was legal.
In his lawsuit, Zulkiflee said a police team led by one Asst Supt Arikrishna Apparau raided his office in Brickfields at 4pm on Sept 24, 2010, and seized all his books, which he was preparing to launch in a widely publicised event.
He had named the Government, Home Ministry, Asst Supt Arikrishna, Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Ismail Omar and Asst Supt Marina Hashim, who led a team to seize the books from the publisher Malaysiakini.com on Sept 25, as defendants.