By Malay Mail

The Court of Appeal today upheld an earlier decision that the arrests of five lawyers and an activist during a 2007 demonstration for human rights to be unlawful.

The court also dismissed challenges filed by the lawyers over the same matter, and remained silent on the issue of costs.

But the three-judge panel headed by Datuk Zaharah Ibrahim awarded RM5,454 to lawyer Eric Paulsen over travel expenses incurred during the trial, news portal Malaysiakini reported today.

Today’s decision also meant the RM10,000 awarded to each of the five lawyers and activist by High Court judge Datuk John Louis O’Hara last year was maintained, as was his order for the six to be given RM60,000 for costs.

In 2007, lawyers Paulsen, R. Sivarasa, Latheefa Koya, N. Surendran, and Amer Hamzah Arshad were detained together with rights activist Johny Andu @ Abu Bakar Adnan during a Human Rights Day event in Kuala Lumpur.

They were subsequently charged for illegal assembly with the intent to create public nuisance.

The six were represented by lawyers Edmund Bon and Chan Yen Hui while Nadia Hanim Tajudin and Lailawati Ali appeared for the government.