Lawyers Francis Pereira briefing for Representatives from the Norwegian ( Mr Fredrink Steen) and Danish embassies(Mr Jacob Byrby Lauren ) who represented EU member states , on the left Daniel Lo watching brief for Bar council
Charles Hector and Angeline Loh with law students from University Malaya, currently doing attachment at the Bar Council Legal Aid Centre
Asahi Kosei Sdn Bhd –V- Charles Hector Fernandez(Case No: 22 NCVC – 173 – 2011) came before Judge Lim Yee Lan at the Shah Alam, Selangor, Malaysia NCVC Court at the Shah Alam Court Complex
Charles Hector was represented by lawyers Francis Pereira
Asahi Kosei Sdn Bhd was represented by lawyer John Fam and Tan Tai Hwa
Malaysian Bar (Holding a Watching Brief) was represented by Daniel Lo
The case today came up for the hearing of:-
a) Charles Hector’s application to amend pleadings (the Defence and Counter Claim) - this application was allowed.
b) Charles Hector’s application to add the 31 migrant workers as parties to the suit. – the court heard submissions from parties and fixed 10/6/2011 as the date for decision.
· The hearing for the day was conducted in the Judge’s chambers.
1 – The 31 migrant workers were the victims of the alleged human rights, and whilst 26 of the workers are back at work at the Asahi Kosei factory, 5 are not and they risk the possibility of their work visas/pass being ended and the risk of arrest, detention and deportation back to Burma. Of the 5, 2 are workers that were sent to the airport to be sent back to Burma on 7/2/2011, and 2 others are workers that were taken for processing to be sent back when they refused to agree to the new agreement. The later 2 also affirmed Statutory Declarations, wherein it confirms the facts as contained in the Charles Hector Blog and also the Joint Media Statement issued by 84 civil society groups.
* Representatives from civil society, human rights groups and the Burmese migrant community were also present in court as a show of support and solidarity. Representatives from the Danish and Norwegian embassies, together with law students from University Malaya, currently doing attachment at the Bar Council Legal Aid Centre were present. Thank you also for the many well wishes we received from friends and colleagues in the struggle for human rights and justice.
Important Past Dates
14/2/2011 – Charles Hector receives company’s lawyers letter of demand.
14/2/2011 – Company filed court action, and applies for an ex-parte interlocutory injunction
17/2/2011 – Hearing of application & Court grants ex-parte order
21/2/2011 – Charles Hector receives order & court documents (becomes aware for the first time that Company had filed suit and applied for an order)
4/3/2011 – 1st hearing date of Company’s inter-parte application for an interlocutory injunction.
1st hearing date for Charles Hector’s application to set aside ex-parte order of 17/2/2011
21/3/2011 – 2nd hearing date for both applications
30/3/2011 – 3rd hearing date for both applications
11/4/2011 – Court allows company’s application for interlocutory injunctions until end of trial, but narrowed it to just the said 31 named migrant workers, and prohibiting Charles Hector from communicating vide blog (http://charleshector.blogspot.com/) and twitting, and dismissed Charles Hector’s application to set aside judgment of 17/2/2011, ordering cost to be cost in the cost for the said 2 applications, and also with regard the order of 17/2/2011.
Next hearing date: 10/6/2011, at 9 am
Charles Hector, Human Rights Defender, Activist, Lawyer & Blogger is being sued by the company for defamation for raising information of human rights and worker rights violations of workers working in the said company on his Blog. Information circulated came from the 31 migrant workers from Burma. Before any posting, an email was sent to Asahi Kosei for their response, which contained also these words, “If there are anything that you would like to correct, kindly revert to me immediately. …An urgent response would be appreciated. Failing to hear from you, I would take it that the allegations of the workers are true.”. The company did not respond, and subsequently commenced a legal suit 6 days later.
The company’s main argument is that these are not their workers, but are workers supplied by an ‘outsourcing agent’. The company says that these workers are not on their ‘direct payroll’ …salaries are paid to the agent, hence they are not responsible for these workers, and for what happened. The company claims no knowledge of any termination or attempted deportation….or any ‘new agreement’.
Charles Hector is of the opinion that once the workers are supplied to the company, then an employment relationship arises…between the workers and the company…A company must be responsible for all workers that work in their factory.