Kugan case: RCI into police interrogation methods long overdue


Pakatan Rakyat leaders urged the government to update the public on the latest status in the murder case of Kugan Ananthan, a 22-year old car theft suspect who died in shocking circumstances while in police remand in January.

Said DAP MP for Puchong Gobind Singh Deo: “Up until now, there is absolutely nothing going on in Kugan’s case as no one has been charged.

“Those responsible are walking about freely. The family is still in the dark. They also have no idea if action has been taken against the cops involved.”

Said PKR MP for Batu Tian Chua: “The Kugan case is a bit more advanced than the Teoh Beng Hock because investigations have already been completed and the conclusion is murder.

“It is now up to the Attorney-General to charge the wrongdoers. Why there is so much delay, this is what we really need to chase up.”

Kugan was detained at the USJ, Subang police station to help in investigations over a string of luxury car thefts. No one informed his family that he had been remanded until he died. Even then, the police told his family the cause of death was due to a lung infection.

Acting on a tip-off, the family – together with human rights activists – went to the Serdang mortuary where his body was kept. There, they found a corpse swollen and full of bruises.

Amid a huge public outcry, the AG then over-ruled the police who had refused to allow a second autopsy. The second post-mortem requested by Kugan’s family revealed that their son died because he had been beaten so badly that his kidneys gave way.

Police interrogation methods need to be reviewed just as badly as the MACC’s

Despite the wealth of photographic evidence and video footage, all the government has done so far is transfer 11 officers from the USJ post back to headquarters.

It is an eerie reminder to Beng Hock’s family not to be too optimistic – the lead investigator in his probe was also transferred back to headquarters.

For Kugan, despite regular and frequent reminders from his family, activists and the press, the AG has not even bothered to reply.

Apart from transferring the lead investigator, Prime Minister Najib Razak had on Wednesday agreed to set up a Royal Commission of Inquiry for Beng Hock to look into the interrogation procedures of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission.

A DAP political aide, Beng Hock died in mysterious circumstances after a marathon question session at the MACC headquarters in Shah Alam.

Although Najib’s proposals were given the thumbs down because the RCI will not be empowered to investigate what caused Beng Hock’s death, Pakatan leaders nevertheless believe a similar RCI into the interrogation methods employed by the police should be set up for Kugan.

Said Tian: “There should be a similar Royal Commission of Inquiry into death in police custody. The disproportionately high number of Indian Malaysians to die in police lock-ups warrant urgent and thorough review.”

Said Gobind: “We all have an equal concern in Kugan’s as well as Teoh’s case because it involves one more custodial death in the country.

“We have to remember that Kugan was also a victim of assault and we need to find out the type of interrogation techniques used in the police station. If they are unlawful, recommendations should be made to avoid similar tragedies in police custody.”

SK
24/07/09

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