Parole board, state agree to pay ex-bikie $64k damages
A former bikie who had his parole cancelled and was thrown behind bars for 72 days has been offered $900 per day he was imprisoned.
The amount is almost a third of what Suleiman "Sam" Abdulrahim has asked Victoria, its adult parole board and the department of justice to pay him in damages for unlawful imprisonment after his parole was revoked in 2019.
The ex-Mongols bikie, 31, was at a supermarket with his then-girlfriend when an unmarked black car pulled up and fugitive detectives told him there was a hit on his head.
He then spent 72 days in jail and is seeking damages for the harm his false imprisonment caused.
The parole board claimed it believed Abdulrahim was an intended target in two shootings and being on parole could have posed a public safety risk.
Abdulrahim previously told the Supreme Court, on the first day of his civil trial, being locked up over that time was the worst thing that had happened to him.
He said it was worse than being shot eight times outside his cousin's funeral, killing a grandmother in a car crash and watching his friend Kadir Ors being shot dead by George Marrogi.
Barrister Liam Brown, acting for the three defendants, accepted that imprisonment would have exacerbated Abdulrahim's mental health issues.
But he said the professional boxer, who goes by the name "The Punisher", had experienced so much other trauma in his life that he should only be awarded minor damages.
"This story could have been written in Hollywood," Mr Brown told the court on Wednesday.
"All of the adversity that this man has overcome to become an out-and-out champion is actually remarkable.
"But ... this is a case where damages must be awarded at the lower end of the scale."
He asked Justice John Dixon to award Abdulrahim $900 per day he was detained, which amounts to $64,800.
Abdulrahim's barrister Stella Gold asked the judge to reject Mr Brown's claims her client's liberty could be less valuable than another person's because of his previous criminal history and trauma.
She said he was entitled to a serious amount of damages, $187,883, to pay for his deprivation of liberty, psychiatric injury, medical expenses, the shock of the public arrest and because he was attacked by another inmate.
She claimed the parole board had played "legal gymnastics" during the trial, using deliberately complex arguments to obscure the case's simplicity.
Further, Ms Gold said the board had never expressed remorse or offered an apology to Abdulrahim.
Justice Dixon will hand down his decision at a later date.