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Malaysian princes in public brawl

world Updated: Sep 20, 2009 09:33 IST

AFP
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A feud between two Malaysian princes has erupted in public with one of the royals saying he was held at gunpoint and badly beaten after a row at a nightclub.

Tunku Nadzimuddin Tunku Mudzaffar, 37, from the central state of Negri Sembilan gave a press conference last week to air details of the brawl and complain that his alleged attackers have not been charged.

His claims against a prince from southern Johor state have raised eyebrows in a country where it is highly unusual for the royal families to criticise each other openly.

Nine of Malaysia's 13 states have royal families, and in a unique arrangement the monarchy rotates among them.

Tunku Nadzimuddin said he was out partying at a nightclub with friends last October after completing cancer treatment when a fracas broke out, allegedly involving bodyguards of the Johor prince.

He said he was then invited to a nearby hotel purportedly to receive an apology, but when he arrived he was held at gunpoint and received a beating, which left him with a broken nose, while his friend was left unconscious.

Tunku Nadzimuddin demanded the police take action in the case, expressing disappointment that "nothing has been done" one year after he lodged a police report. "Of course I was traumatised. For a while, I couldn't get into the lift, I was scared to travel to anywhere and get wary when there is a lot of people," he told AFP.

"I wouldn't expect this to happen to anybody whether they are from a royal family or not, I don't expect a royal family member to be going around with a gun and abusing it," he said.

Malaysia's attorney-general Abdul Gani Patail said he would proceed cautiously in the case, which has seen police record statements from 41 people.

"Like in any other case of this nature, both parties maintained their innocence and the independent witnesses have not been helpful," the government's top lawyer said according to the New Straits Times.

The Johor family has not made any public comment on the matter.

Malaysia's royals used to enjoy immunity from prosecution but former premier Mahathir Mohamad, to curb alleged abuses of power, revoked the privilege in 1993.