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Monday, 20 June 2016 | MYT 12:59 PM

Ahmad Sarbaini's death due to negligence of

MACC, Court of Appeal rules

KUALA LUMPUR: The wife of senior customs officer Ahmad Sarbaini

Mohamad (pic), who died under custody at the Malaysian Anti-Corruption
Commission (MACC) headquarters, cried tears of relief after the Court of Appeal
ruled that her husband's death in 2011 was a result of negligence on the part of the
anti-graft agency.
The MACC was ordered by a panel of three judges to pay RM213,000 in damages
to Ahmad Sarbaini's widow Maziah Manap and her family after hearing their
appeal on Monday noon.
The panel, consisting of Datuk Mohd Zawawi Salleh, Ong Lam Kiat Vernon and
Datuk Abdul Rahman Sebli, ruled that the MACC had failed to follow its internal
protocol of monitoring suspects under custody.
According to the panel, there was negligence when the MACC officer tasked to
look after Ahmad Sarbaini left him alone in a waiting room on the third floor of the
building, where he was said to have fallen to his death.
Sarbaini was found dead at the badminton court on the first floor of the MACC's
office in Jalan Cochrane on April 6, 2011 - 20 months after the death of Teoh Beng
Hock at the same building.
He was at the office voluntarily to retract a statement previously made where he
had allegedly admitted to bribery.
"We are of the view that there is an element of negligence by the respondent.
Though there were instructions that a person who is a suspect under investigation
should be brought to the first floor, he was brought to the third floor. That
instruction was given after (the case of) Beng Hock.
"Secondly, there were clear instructions that the deceased should be controlled at
all times. The instructions were given because there was a possibility that
something unfortunate could happen to the deceased, and that is why the deceased
should have been controlled," Mohd Zawawi said in the panel's judgment.
Ahmad Sarbainis family was represented by lawyer Razlan Hadri Zulkifli, while
the MACC was represented by Kamal Azira Hassan.
Razlan Hadri welcomed the court's decision, saying that the ruling had given the
family closure after years of fighting in court.
Kamal Azira said his side would await a directive by the Attorney-General whether
there was a need to appeal the court's decision.
Ahmad Sarbaini, a 56-year-old Port Klang Customs officer, was reported to have
gone to the commission's office to meet the investigation officer assigned to
corruption cases involving 62 customs officers.
The Coroner's Court, on Sept 26, 2011, delivered a verdict of misadventure and
ruled that there were no elements of suicide, homicide or third party involvement
in his death.
His family sued the MACC and the Government for RM8mil but had their case
dismissed by the KL High Court in August 2015.