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LAST_UPDATEMon, 21 May 2018 9am

EAIC: Charge Cops Who Used Force On Balamurugan (Updated)

Pic: theSun (EAIC Chairman Datuk A Aziz A Rahim shows a report during a press conference on the death of S. Balamurugan under police custody, Jan 18, 2018.)Pic: theSun (EAIC Chairman Datuk A Aziz A Rahim shows a report during a press conference on the death of S. Balamurugan under police custody, Jan 18, 2018.)

PUTRAJAYA: The Enforcement Agency Integrity Commission (EAIC) has recommended that the Attorney-General's Chambers consider criminal charges be brought against police officers who have been identified to have used force on S. Balamurugan who subsequently died after being held in police custody.

Its chairman Datuk A. Aziz A. Rahim today said the commission believes that there were acts of force by police officers that caused the death of Balamurugan while under their custody.

A. Aziz also pointed out the failure of the police force to release Balamurugan after the remand application was rejected by the magistrate constitutes a serious offence as they failed to obey the court's order.

"The police also failed to comply with the magistrate's order for the deceased to be sent to the hospital immediately," he told reporters during a press conference to announce their findings on custodial deaths of Balamurugan and Soh Kai Chiok at its office, here.

"There were various breaches of standard operating procedures (SOP) and laws by the police who made the arrest and subsequent detention on a juvenile detainee who was arrested alongside the deceased on Feb 6, 2017 by handcuffing and placing them at the same cell meant for adult detainees.

"The commission also discovered that the CCTV at the Bandar Baru Klang police station only served as a dummy and was unable to record.

"This prevented the commission from obtaining the best evidence to look at the incident that occurred when Balamurugan was detained at the police station."

The findings, he further revealed, determined the cause of Balamurugan's death was due to coronary artery disease with multiple blunt force injuries.

"This was confirmed by two forensic specialists from the Tengku Ampuan Rahimah Hospital and Kuala Lumpur Hospital through two post-mortem sessions conducted on Feb 8 and 18 respectively.

The public inquiry for Balamurugan was held from May 15 before concluding on July 11, last year after hearing testimonies from 47 witnesses out of the initial 55 that was to be called.

Following the conclusion of inquiry, Inspector T. Mohaneswaran, 31, claimed trial to causing hurt to Balamurugan at the Klang Magistrates court on Oct 30, 2017.

Balamurugan was arrested with K. Tamilasan and a juvenile suspect by the Klang Utara district police motorcycle patrol unit on Feb 6 as the vehicle they were in at that time was suspected to have been used in a robbery.

He died in the wee hours of Feb 8, after the Klang magistrate's court rejected an application to remand him and ordered for him to be taken for medical treatment.

Meanwhile, A. Aziz said the commission determined that Soh's death in police custody was due to peritonitis due to perforated peptic ulcer and had nothing to do with possible misconduct of policemen during his detention at the Bera police station on January 18.

"However, the commission pointed out that standard operating procedures (SOP) were not followed when the police refused to take the deceased for treatment when he had complained of pains on the night of his death on Jan 17, 2017.

"The police also failed to ensure that the deceased received proper medication during his detention at the Triang police station lockup as prescribed by the medical officer at the Orthopaedic Department, Sultan Haji Ahmad Shah Hospital, Temerloh," he added.

- theSun