Wrongful drug arrest: NSW Young Australian of the Year wins damages case
Your tax-money hard at work….
Won damages … Iktimal Hage-Ali
Sydney Moonbat Herald: A one-time Young Australian of the Year contender has won $18,705 in damages, with a judge today finding she was wrongfully arrested for the alleged supply of cocaine.
A Muslim leader and adviser to former prime minister John Howard, Iktimal Hage-Ali received the NSW Young Australian of the Year award in November 2006.
Eight days earlier, she had been arrested by officers attached to the Middle Eastern Organised Crime Squad on suspicion of supplying cocaine. She was questioned but released without charge.
After her arrest was made public, she relinquished her award and moved overseas.
Ms Hage-Ali, 25, sued the state in the District Court, seeking damages for wrongful arrest.
She admitted in court to using cocaine, with intercepted calls and texts between her and her dealer – in which drugs were referred to by code – tendered as evidence.
Judge Michael Elkaim concluded that the police should not have arrested her.
However, he had difficulty determining damages because “notwithstanding the wrong doing of the police force … the plaintiff was conducting her life in a manner inconsistent with the picture of the person she claims has been so significantly affected”.
“In blunt terms, she was a regular user of an illegal substance and conducted herself in a manner which gave the police grounds to conclude that she was a supplier of the drug to other persons even if on a very low scale,” he said.
“My finding of wrong doing on the part of the police is not in any way an exculpation of her conduct.”
He awarded her $18,705 in damages.
Kim Arlington is aÂ Herald court reporter.