EAIC probes latest death in custody

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Source: The Malay Mail Online

EAIC chairman Datuk Yaacob Md Sam today proposed that it should be notified of disciplinary action taken by enforcement agencies. — Picture by Mohd Yusof Mat Isa

EAIC chairman Datuk Yaacob Md Sam says the commission has opened investigations on the death of M. Thanaseelan at a police station in Hulu Selangor. — Picture by Mohd Yusof Mat Isa

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 28 ― The Enforcement Agency Integrity Commission (EAIC) announced today that it has opened investigations on the death of M. Thanaseelan at a police station in Hulu Selangor.

The commission said the case on the 43-year-old man’s death would be investigated if there was misconduct or criminal behaviour by police officers while handling the detainee.

“The EAIC views this incident seriously, which happened following two deaths in police custody: Soh Kai Chiok at IPD Bera, Pahang, on January 18 2017 and S. Balamurugan at IPD Klang Utara on February 8 2017,” EAIC chairman Datuk Yaacob Md Sam said in a statement.

The EAIC said its investigators have recorded statements by 53 witnesses in Soh’s case and 47 witnesses in Balamurugan’s case.

“Together with this statement, I call upon and urge all PDRM officers and officials to pay attention, take guidance from and obey the PDRM Lock-Up Management SOP issued by PDRM Bukit Aman on April 21 2014 that comprehensively details the management of detainees at PDRM lock-ups,” said Yaacob, referring to the Royal Malaysia Police with its Bahasa Malaysia initials.

Thanaseelan was found dead in his cell at the Bukit Sentosa police station in Hulu Selangor on February 25, after he was brought to Hospital Kuala Kubu Bharu when he complained of stomach pain. The burglary suspect was returned to the lock-up after getting treatment.

Thanaseelan’s family lawyers said a post-mortem showed that he had died of a perforated gastric ulcer and questioned why he was kept in detention, noting that police lock-up rules provided for situations where a detainee may not be fit for further detention.