Last of Heng Pov Legal Actions Dismissed by Malaysia Court

Malaysia’s highest court on Tuesday threw out an appeal against a 2006 decision that led to the speedy deportation to Cambodia of former Phnom Penh police chief Heng Pov.

The move marks the last of the legal actions that arose from the controversy over the ex-fugitive’s delivery into the hands of waiting Cambodian police in Kuala Lumpur.

The appeal asked the Federal Court to find that the deportation had been illegal. However, the three-judge panel said the motion was now academic as Heng Pov is not in Malaysia, N Sivananthan, Heng Pov’s Malaysian attorney since October 2006, said Wednesday.

“If the deportation was found to be illegal we could have sought damages, but we never got our foot in the door,” he said by telephone from Kuala Lumpur.

After a favorable ruling from the High Court, the Court of Appeal ruled in December 2006 that Heng Pov, who had been offered a Finnish entry visa, should be sent back to Cambodia against his wishes.

Two hours later, Heng Pov was deported in a private plane even as Sivananthan was seeking a stay at the Federal Court.

Heng Pov is now serving over 60 years for crimes including murder and illegal confinement.

The Federal Court ruled last year that a prima facie case of contempt of court existed against two Malaysian immigration officials and a prosecutor, whom lawyers accused of illegally colluding with Cambodia in the ultra-fast deportation. But the court found in August there was insufficient evidence to convict them.

The court ruled Tuesday an appeal against the Court of Appeal ruling could not be enforced as Heng Pov is in a Cambodian jail.

“No amount of argument will change our minds,” Judge Tan Sri Zaki Tun Azmi was quoted as saying by The New Straits Times newspaper Wednesday.

Sivananthan said that the court had turned down an opportunity to make a precedent-setting decision.

“Heng Pov was in a unique situation, and it was a situation where jurisprudence could have been developed,” he said, adding that in Malaysia’s courts, Heng Pov’s race was now run.

“This is the last of it,” he said.

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