Friday, January 23, 2009

Independent probe into Kugan’s death - Malaysiakini

KUALA LUMPUR: MIC Youth on Friday called for an independent inquiry into the death of suspected car thief A. Kugan.

Its coordinator T. Mohan said the inquiry would be able to shed light on what had happened. The 22-year-old Kugan died in police custody on Tuesday after being detained for five days.

He was being held under a two-week remand order to facilitate investigations into several luxury car thefts.

Mohan also denied claims that Kugan’s family had “barged” into the Serdang Hospital mortuary on Tuesday night to look at his body.

“In fact, it was the hospital authorities who gave permission for the family to identify the body,” he said, adding that family members were shocked to see the injuries on the body.

Mohan denied Selangor police chief Deputy Comm Datuk Khalid Abu Bakar’s allegation that the family had “tampered” with Kugan’s remains during the incident.

“DCP Khalid seems to have jumped the gun by shifting blame to family members when the actual culprits ... are still free,” he said.

According to the post-mortem report, Kugan died because he had liquid in his lungs. It is however not known what caused this.

MIC Youth division leaders throughout the country have lodged more than 25 reports at various police stations urging an investigation into Kugan’s death as well as for action to be taken against Khalid.

The state police chief had earlier vowed that there would be no cover-up in police investigations into the death.

Meanwhile, Klang MP Charles Santiago criticised Khalid for trying to protect his officers and for claiming that Kugan had died of breathing difficulties.

“I have watched the video recording of Kugan taken at the mortuary and there were severe marks on his body, deep cuts on his wrists and bruises on his legs,” the DAP politician claimed.

Santiago said this was not the first case of police detainees being abused or of custodial death.


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