Friday, 28 January 2011

Kugan death in custody, police officer acquitted of causing hurt, another case for a RCI?

After the RCI for the death of Teoh Beng Hock, now with have this developing story:

Kugan death in custody case: Cop acquitted of causing hurt 

PETALING JAYA: Police constable Navindran Vivekanandan, 30, was acquitted by the Sessions Court over two counts of causing grievous hurt to suspected car thief A.Kugan (pic), who died in police custody in 2009.

His defence was not called.

Sessions Court judge Aslam Zainuddin ruled that the prosecution had failed to establish a prima facie case against the accused.

Read the story here and here.

Notice the lawyers said “The family want a Royal Commission of Inquiry to investigate all individuals involved and charge them with no less than murder,”

There you are folks, the family of the late Kugan wants an RCI, after this I suspect there will be a relentless campaign to demand for an RCI. 

I don't know whether this is a case for an  RCI or not but  no matter what the late Kugan did or did not do prior to his death in custody, there must be some form of closure, is it an interrogation that got out of hand resulting in fatal injury, or something more sinister or just a case of sudden death. 

In fairness, I think many Malaysians wants to know as well. The PDRM does a great job of maintaining the security and safety of this blessed nation, let not this death in custody be a albatross around its neck.

The Government must find some sort of solution before matters get out of hand and the issue is hijacked from the Kugan family by political parties assuming it has not already(The lawyers in the report are PKR members I think). 

Perhaps this editorial from the NST can give guidance (the person and enforcement agency is different from the Kugan case):

Establishing the truth

IN case it is not clearly understood, a royal commission of inquiry is independent. It is not a legal mechanism that individuals or groups may avail themselves of in pursuit of justification or exoneration. Rather, it is an instrument of governance where the royal prerogative is exercised upon the recommendation of the government. In short, only Putrajaya, namely the prime minister, can make it happen. And, as always, royal commissions are resorted to when the matter at hand is deemed important to the welfare of the people and nation. The failure of the inquest into the death of Teoh Beng Hock to come to a definitive verdict then is of grave national significance because it has caused the formation of such a commission.

That Teoh is a member of DAP, a parliamentary opposition party, is proof of the government's determination that justice will not only be seen to be done, but that it will be done. For the open verdict of the inquest left many questions unanswered despite the best efforts of its coroner. There have been far too many innuendos circulated by the gossip mill and these political aspersions must be cast out. The young man's death should not be turned into political hay by the exploitative few. It should also be remembered that the government had listened to the Teoh family's request for a commission of inquiry. Just as critical, however, the decision appears to have more to do with recognising the serious risk to the integrity and credibility of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC), and those of the public service as a whole, should the circumstances of Teoh's 14-floor fall from MACC's offices in Shah Alam continue to be disputed in the popular imagination.

With a scope of reference meant to ascertain whether there had been any impropriety in the conduct of MACC's investigating officers, who had questioned Teoh before his death, there is no room to doubt the sincerity that informs Putrajaya's decision. This is further enhanced by the upstanding reputation of those appointed to the commission. Of course, finding out how Teoh met his death will be part of the commission's ambit, which goes further and is broader than the coroner's. Some way of explaining how Teoh could have ended up sprawled outside Wisma Masalam, where he had been under extended interrogation, should be arrived at. While an answer to this mystery will give closure to the bereaved family, more to the point is the need to re-establish trust in MACC, Malaysia's guardian of transparency.

Read in full here.

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