Thursday, April 9, 2009

Kugan’s family rejects panel’s findings, wants justice to be served

KUALA LUMPUR: The father of A. Kugan says he does not accept the findings of the independent committee which investigated the two conflicting post-mortem reports on his son’s death.

G. Ananthan said he was willing to exhume Kugan’s body, if need be.
“If you want a third post-mortem, I will dig up his body,” he said, adding that he and his wife N. Indra were at their wit’s end and just wanted justice.
Speaking to reporters yesterday, they questioned what else was needed for the authorities to arrest those responsible for Kugan’s death.

Teluk Intan MP M. Manogaran said the family had not cremated Kugan’s body for fear that the matter would not be resolved.

Kugan, 22, died five days after he was detained on Jan 15 and an autopsy by the Serdang Hospital on Jan 21 gave the cause of death as ‘’acute pulmonary oedema’’.
The family sought a second post-mortem, which was conducted by Universiti Malaya Medical Centre (UMMC) pathologist Dr Prashant Samberkar on Jan 25. He gave the provisional cause of death (pending toxicology report) as ‘’acute renal failure due to rhabdomyolysis (the breakdown of muscle fibres resulting in the release of myoglobin into the bloodstream) due to blunt trauma to skeletal muscles’’.

The conflicting reports led the Health Ministry to set up the independent committee, which on Tuesday concluded a third cause of death – acute congestion of the lungs due to acute inflammation of the heart muscles, compounded by blunt force trauma.

The family’s counsel N. Surendran called the findings a “whitewash” and pointed out that the 10-man committee made their findings without conducting a post-mortem on the body.
Surendran also said police were unethical when they confiscated samples, documents and pictures related to the UMMC post-mortem on Monday. He said a letter of demand had been sent for the return of the items.