Breach of conduct, power abuse by police caused detainee’s death, says group

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Source: The Malaysian Insight

BREACH of conduct and power abuse by police are what caused the death of detainee S. Balamurugan last year, said the Enforcement Agency Integrity Commission (EAIC).

It was reported that EAIC chief A. Aziz A. Rahim said police had failed to heed the magistrates’ court’s order to immediately hospitalise Balamurugan.

“The commission finds that police’s failure to release the deceased after their remand order was rejected by the magistrate is a serious misconduct,” Aziz told reporters in Putrajaya.

Balamurugan was arrested along with K. Tamilasan and a juvenile suspect by Klang Utara district police, and was allegedly beaten up at the Bandar Baru Klang police station on February 6 last year.

He attended a remand hearing at the Klang magistrates’ court in the morning, before the court ordered that he be taken to hospital for treatment.

Balamurugan was instead held at the North Klang police headquarters, where he was found dead in the morning of February 8.

EAIC found that two police officers, identified as “SP46” and “SP28”, had abused their power in ordering Balamurugan to be rearrested without proper justification.

The commission also found that the officers who had arrested the trio had breached the standard operating procedure by handcuffing the juvenile suspect and putting him in a cell meant for adult detainees.

It said closed-circuit television cameras at the Bandar Baru Klang police station were dummies, posing a setback for the commission in its efforts to unearth evidence relating to Balamurugan’s death.

Aziz said the detainee’s death was due to coronary artery disease, with multiple blunt-force trauma injuries on the body confirmed by two forensic specialists from Tengku Ampuan Rahimah Hospital and Kuala Lumpur Hospital.

The public inquiry into Balamurugan’s death was held from May 15 to July 11 last year.

It heard testimonies from 47 witnesses out of the initial 55 that were set to be called.

Following the conclusion of the inquiry, inspector T. Mohaneswaran, 31, claimed trial to causing hurt to Balamurugan at the Klang magistrates’ court on October 30. – January 18, 2018.