Sun, Jan 25, 2009 - Page 4 News List

Malaysian police probed following detainee’s death


A total of 11 police officers have been questioned in a high-profile probe into the death of a detainee in Malaysian police custody, news reports said yesterday.

The victim, whose name was given as A Kugan, 22, served a two-week remand on suspicions that he was involved in a carjacking syndicate when he died while in custody at the Subang Jaya district police station on Tuesday.

Police said Kugan had vomited and collapsed after drinking a glass of water during police interrogation.

Officers later told his family that Kugan died of fluid in his lungs, but relatives demanded a probe into what they said was a case of police abuse, after they found bruises on the deceased’s body.

Attorney-General Abdul Gani Pattail said police had classified the case as murder.

“We will complete the probe soon. There will be no cover-up. The case has attracted a lot of attention. Give us time to investigate,” Khalid Abu Bakar, police chief of Selangor state, was quoted as saying by the official Bernama news agency.

Deputy Inspector-General of Police Ismail Omar promised that those found guilty would be charged.

“I assure the highest standard of integrity in the investigation and it will be in accordance with the law,” he said in a statement released late on Friday. “Appropriate action will taken to uphold justice and the law. The police will not be taking sides in the investigation.”

Public opinion of the police is at an all-time low despite efforts to clean up the force, which is perceived to be abusive and corrupt.

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