Ex-CEO who 'overstayed' 74 days in prison awarded $126k

SHAH ALAM - A High Court here has awarded RM322,000 (S$126,000) in damages to a former Permodalan BSN Berhad chief executive officer after he "overstayed" in prison for 74 days.

Justice Hadhariah Syed Ismail ordered four government officials and the Government to pay the damages with interests to Ahmad Skhri Ramli for his unlawful detention.

The court also fixed costs at RM15,000.

In her judgment, Hadhariah said the prison authorities should have taken the initiative to verify the plaintiff's verbal complaint when he claimed that he had paid a partial sum of the fine imposed on him.

"The defendants' excuse that they did not know that the fine was paid is unacceptable because they refused to know and refused to help.

"If you do not believe the plaintiff's claim, why didn't you check with the court? The defendants could have called the court and asked for the receipt to be faxed," she said yesterday.

Ahmad Skhri, who is now a part-time consultant with a contractor's company, filed the suit on Feb 15, naming Prisons Department director Datuk Zulkifli Omar, Kajang Prison director Datuk Al Zafry Mohamed Al Nassif and Bentong Prison director Mohd Sakeri Dollah as defendants.

He also named the former Home Ministry secretary-general Tan Sri Mahmood Adam and the Government in the suit.

According to lawyer Muhammad Rafique Rashid Ali, who represented Ahmad Skhri, his client was convicted of two counts of abetment in the short-selling of 202,000 AKN Technology Berhad shares six years ago.

Ahmad Shkri was fined RM150,000 in default of six months' jail for each charge and managed to pay RM220,000.

He was supposed to be released on Dec 2, 2009, after serving jail time following the High Court's dismissal of his appeal and his failure to pay the remaining RM80,000.

However, he was only released on Feb 18, 2010.

The defendants were represented by Senior Federal Counsel Hani Aziza Ismail.