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Last Updated: Friday, 23 February 2007, 09:27 GMT
UK man wins Malaysia legal battle
By Jonathan Kent
BBC correspondent in Kuala Lumpur

A British man has been awarded more than 400,000 in damages by a Malaysian court after he was prevented from leaving the country for 16 years.

Ronald Beadle, from Derbyshire, was trapped in Malaysia after the country's Inland Revenue Board ordered that his passport be seized over a tax dispute.

The judge ruled that the Inland Revenue Board had acted arbitrarily and abused its powers.

However, she did not accept that Mr Beadle had been falsely imprisoned.

Nor did she allow his claim for loss of earnings, arguing that it was purely theoretical that he could have made a living elsewhere.


The dispute started out as a simple mix-up over tax, and turned into a 16-year legal odyssey.

In 1981, Malaysia's Inland Revenue Board ordered that Ronald Beadle's passport be seized over a disputed sum of 3,000 ($5,874).

But it was not until 1998 that a court ruled it was his employers and not he who had failed to pay up.

In the meantime, Mr Beadle was forced to remain in Malaysia and was unable to return to Britain, even for his father's funeral.

Now the court has awarded him almost 440,000 ($861,551) in damages.

Mr Beadle, who first came to the country as a serviceman in the 1960s, says he would still like to retire in Malaysia.

Country profile: Malaysia
13 Dec 06 |  Country profiles

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