Friday, October 2, 2009

Kugan's death: Cop charged

Kugan's case: Cop charged, pleads not guilty - Malaysiakini

Nine months after A Kugan died in police custody, constable V Navindran was charged at the Petaling Jaya Sessions Court today with causing hurt to the 23-year-old detainee.

Navindran claimed trial to two counts of causing "grievous hurt" while trying to extract a confession or extract any information to secure a conviction on two separate occasions on Jan 16.

Alternatively, he was accused of causing "hurt"to Kugan.

kugan court case 011009 uthayakumar.jpgThe alleged offences took place at the interrogation room of the Taipan police station in USJ, Subang Jaya-- the first at 7am and the second at 4pm.

If found guilty of causing "grievous hurt", he is liable to a fine and a jail term of up to 10 years, while for "causing hurt," the maximum sentence is seven years.

DPP Idham Abdul Ghani requested that the bail be set at RM10,000 with one surety.

Navindran, 28, who looked unperturbed during the proceedings is represented by a team of three lawyers led by Sallehuddin Saidin.

The others are Suraj Singh and Rajpal Singh while lawyer Gobind Singh Deo is holding a watching brief for the Kugan family.

Kugan's grandmother, mother, aunt and uncle along with close relatives were present in court to catch a glimpse of the man allegedly responsible for his death.

Sallehuddin submitted that his client is married and with a child. He is a constable and had cooperated with the police in their investigations and was present in court of his own free will.

"Being a constable there is less chance of him absconding bail. I would like to suggest bail at RM1,000 with one surety as his uncle is willing to post bail."

Idham told the court that the offence was serious and had attracted wide media coverage.

Sessions judge Aslam Zainuddin set bail at RM10,000 for both charges and fixed Nov 5 for mention.

Navindran, wearing a blue long-sleeved shirt and blue denim jeans, entered the court about 9.25am.

He was said to have arrived at 6.30am at the newly renovated Petaling Jaya court complex, to evade photographers.

Police light strike force personnel were present behind the court complex maintain security.

Navidran was attached to Taipan but has since been transferred to the Shah Alam Police Contingent Headquarters.

Gobind: Legalising police brutality

kugan court case 011009 gobind singh.jpgGobind (left), when met outside the court, said he and his client's family were disappointed that the other policemen who had been involved are not facing any prosecution.

"I will write to the Attorney General to seek a clarification why others who allegedly were involved in the beating were not charged, just one. I do not find the Attorney General's explanation convincing.

"You cannot imagine the suffering that Kugan went through in his ordeal under the hands of these men who were trying to extract a confession. I also do not believe this is the work of one person," he said.

Gobind who is also Puchong MP objected to Section 330 and 331 of the Penal Code, as it seems to be legalising police brutality in extracting confessions.

He said this has to stop as innocent people are being killed with such harsh interrogation tactics.

"I will bring this matter up in parliament for the MPs to deliberate the reviewing of the two sections," he said.

Gobind said the prosecutors should have charged Navindran with murder and not a lesser charge.

"Why not charge him with murder and let the court decide whether to move to a lesser charge?," he asked.

No murder charge

Attorney-general Abdul Gani Patail in a press statement yesterday said Navindran was to be charged under Section 331 of the Penal Code for voluntarily causing grievous hurt to extort confession from the deceased and alternatively Section 330 for voluntarily causing hurt to extort a confession from him.

lingam tape panel meeting 031007 abdul gani patailAccording to Abdul Gani (right), out of 92 witnesses questioned by the police, four identified Navindran as the one who had inflicted the injuries on Kugan on those occasions.

"On both occasions, the suspect was said to have beaten the deceased with a rubber hose and four days later Kugan met his death," he said.

Abdul Gani also took pains to explain why Navindran was not charged with murder.

"There is no evidence that the deceased suffered instant death. Instead, the deceased died four days after the alleged beating.

"Therefore, there was a wide gap in between and a charge of murder could not be preferred against the suspect.

"The finding of the medical report did not show that the deceased died due to the injuries suffered by him. But the result of acute myocarditis, a viral infection of the heart," he said.

Kugan died on Jan 20 at the USJ Taipan police station, five days after he was arrested.

Malaysiakini, was among the first media which highlighted the incident, resulting in a public outcry.

Kugan's grandmother G Muthama, 62, said she cried daily haunted by the memory of the manner in which her grandson had died.

'The law is dead'

kugan court case 011009 grandma g muthamai 2.jpgMuthama (left) said putting up the RM10,000 bail money was nothing compared to the loss of a life.

"The police are supposed to protect the people and now we see them beating others to extort confessions. How can this be? What sort of police and government do we have?" asked Muthama.

"What about the rest of the policemen who took part in the beatings why are they not charged? I want to see all of them charged with 302 (murder) and not this."

Kugan's auntie S Renuka, 31, also questioned the high handed police action in arresting him.

"They arrested him on allegations of car theft. However, after six months and Kugan's death, they said there is no case against him.

"To make matters worse, Kugan's valuables including jewellery kept in his car and also his pants and shirt are all missing."

"How can we be satisfied as we had lost a loved one and only one person is charged," Renuka said.

N Indra, who is Kugan's mother was also present but did not speak to the press.

MS Mahendran, 47, another uncle of Kugan's, remarked sarcastically that this was the 1Malaysia called by the country's leaders.

"If this was truly 1Malaysia, they should be fair to everyone. We are also human but why is the law not acting for us in seeking justice for Kugan. The law is dead."

Passport bungle: Waytha rubbishes Hisham's claims - Malaysiakini

Hindraf leader P Waythamoorthy today rubbished Home Minister Hishammuddin Hussein's denial that the Putrajaya administration revoked his international passport.

The London-based activist also denied Hishammuddin's claim that he had surrendered his passport to the Malaysian high commission in Britain.

He slammed Hishammuddin for allegedly parroting lies spread by the previous home minister Syed Hamid Albar that his passport was not revoked.

NONEWaythamoorthy said he has two official letters from the British Home Office to prove the cancellation of his valid passport.

He said the British Home Office had submitted to his London solicitor a written letter confirming that his international passport was revoked by the Malaysian government on April 21, 2008.

Waythamoorthy added the matter was raised at the British high commission in Kuala Lumpur and the British immigration acted upon that communication and refused him exit via Gatwick airport.

"On April 21, the day it was confirmed that my passport was revoked, the home office withheld and impounded my passport upon request by the Malaysian government," he said.

He said upon receiving the confirmation letter from the home office, his solicitor - Imran Khan and Solicitors - had written a letter to the Malaysian high commission seeking answers for the sudden and unexpected revocation of his valid passport.

Passport 'foolishly sent to lawyer'

The solicitor's legal letter (letter before action or letter of demand in Malaysia) to the home office was sent in view of initiating a British court action against the Malaysian government.

Waythamoorthy said the Malaysian high commission however failed to reply and explain professionally the questions that were raised in the letter of demand.

Instead, he said the high commission acted foolishly by dispatching his passport to his solicitor's office.

The high commission, said Waythamoorthy, had delivered the document by hand, perhaps thinking it would end the matter and stop him from instituting legal action against the Putrajaya administration.

Shocked by the Malaysian government's action in returning the passport, his solicitor then sent it back to the high commission office.

He said the solicitor had enclosed a covering letter seeking answers, explanations and an apology from the Malaysian high commissioner over the matter.

"The Malaysian government's action of re-sending my passport through the back door after revoking it was an act of cowardice of the highest order.

"The Putrajaya administration cowardly did it to avoid responsibility and accountability because the then home minister knew he had bungled up the matter. Thus I was made the country's first political refugee in Britain by the Umno government," he said.

Detrimental to diplomatic ties

Waythamoorthy said he was not pursuing any legal action on the matter yet because he does not wish to embarrass the Malaysian government "for all its lies".

He said it would also affect the diplomatic relations between London and Putrajaya.

He challenged Hishammuddin to confirm that the Malaysian government did not revoke his passport and that the British government had lied.

"Hishammuddin should confirm that the British government lied to me when the London Home Office told me that the Malaysian government had conveyed the information on the cancellation of my passport to its high commission in Malaysia and sought the return of my passport.

"Would he be agreeable to choose London as the forum of convenience for my civil suit against the Malaysian and British governments?" he asked.

A. Kugan’s murder in police lock up but no prosecution for murder. Sack AG and IGP

Re: A. Kugan’s murder in police lock up but no prosecution for murder. Sack AG and IGP.

We refer to the above matter and wish to bring to your goodselves kind attention of the following items which has been brought to our attention for onward transmission to your goodselves as the general public concerns:-

1) Prosecute all the police murderers in Kugan’s case for murder and not limiting it to V. Navindren alone.

2) Prosecute also the four of the police personnel who had witnessed Kugan being beaten up for aiding and abetting the murder as they have up to date failed to lodge a police report upon witnessing the crime.

3) Prosecute all 21 police personnel who had had contact with Kugan in police detention for aiding and abetting the murder (Refer NST 1/10/09 at page 4)

4) Prosecute the Investigating Officer ASP Mohd Marzukhi Mohd Mokhtar for aiding and abetting the cover up of this murder.

5) Prosecute pathologist Dr. Abdul Karim Tajuddin for fabricating evidence and covering up for the police in this Kugan’s murder. It is because of Pathologists and doctors like this that has encouraged the police to take the law into their own hands over the years and resulting in hundreds of such custodial deaths and assaults in police custody getting away scot-free.

6) Prosecute the Director General of the Health Ministry Tan Sri Ismail Mercian for covering up for the police in this Kugan’s murder in the Malaysian Medical Council Independent Investigation Committee.

7) Why only RM10,000 bail and V. Navindren’s International passport was not impounded for a murderer when it was RM50,000.00 bail and passport impounded in P. Uthayakumar’s Sedition charge, the Attorney General making a personal appearance and objecting to bail for mere Seditious words uttered which maximum fine is a mere RM5,000.00 (but bail at ten times the maximum fine was imposed) (Note: Karpal Singh’s bail for a similar Sedition charge drew only a bail of a mere RM2,000.00 and his passport was not impounded).

8) After all, 31 Hindraf peaceful assemblers at Batu Caves were charged for the attempted murder of one policeman who “allegedly” suffered a head injury. Further Attorney General Tan Sri Gani Patail again appeared in person to oppose and bail was indeed denied to all 31. Why a different rule and standards when it is the other way round and involving real police murderers, criminals, pathologist and the Secretary General of the Health Ministry? This is in direct violation of Article 8 of the Federal Constitution which guarantees Equality before the law and equal protection under the law.

Since our Police Watch and Human Rights Committee Memorandum “Assault and death of Tharma Rajen A/L Subramaniam (19) and hundreds of others in police custody. Are we heading towards a police state? dated 01/07/02’, we have even recorded one death in police custody in every two weeks Refer Malaysian Indian Minority and Human Rights Violations Annual Report 2008 to Pravasi Bharathiya Divas International Conference at Chennai, India 7th – 9th January 2009 at page 13 and 14 and thereafter leading to amongst others this brutal murder of A. Kugan.

In the circumstances and in the light of the ever alarmingly increasing crime rate in Malaysia, injustices, bioused, vindictive and malicious arrest detention and prosecution, failure in uploading law and order we now call upon the Attorney General and the Inspector General of Police to be sacked forthwith by your goodselves.

Kindly direct the necessary prosecution and action and revert to us accordingly.

Thank you.

Your faithfully,