KUALA LUMPUR: A timber tycoon, who was detained under emergency laws and who alleged that he was not freed even though two release orders were issued, is suing the authorities for wrongful detention.
Teng Chi Lik, from Kuching, is alleging that his detention at the Simpang Renggam detention centre in Johor for seven months from March 12, 2008, was unlawful.
He claimed that the order to restrict him in Penang for a year until October 2009 was also wrong.
Teng was detained by police in Nov 2007 for his alleged involvement in secret society activities and violent crimes before he was held under preventive laws.
At the start of trial yesterday, Teng, 47, stated in his sworn witness statement that a warder at Simpang Renggam had told him that his name was listed on the notice board as to be released on March 12, 2008.
However, later that night, he was told by the warden that the release order was not sent to the detention centre.
He said when his wife came to visit him, she allegedly told him that she was threatened by people claiming to be policemen and who demanded RM1.5 million for his release.
Teng added that his wife could not afford the payment, and after seeing him, returned to Kuching.
The witness referred to an alleged second release order, which was signed by then home minister Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar authorising his release on March 28.
He said that, again, a warden told him that his name was on the release list. Teng waited but was not freed.
Three witnesses for the plaintiff took the stand yesterday: his wife, Yeo Kok Ling, and two lawyers who had acted for him previously.
Teng had named the deputy internal security minister, home minister, director of the criminal investigation department, inspector-general of police, Simpang Renggam detention centre superintendent and the government as defendants.
Zahirul Fahmi Zaini, who was then assistant secretary of the public prevention of crime and public order department in the Home Ministry, was the first witness to testify for the defendants.
He said he was informed that the release order for Teng could not be executed as the then deputy internal security minister, Datuk Johari Baharum, had no power to sign any order related to the Emergency Ordinance as a caretaker government was in place at that time.
High Court judge Datin Zabariah Mohd Yusof will deliver her decision on May 29.