Sunday, March 8, 2015

Kula: Coroner’s findings must bring closure

9:57AM Mar 8, 2015

By Terence Netto

Kula: Coroner’s findings must bring closure

With two coroner findings of police negligence in custodial deaths, will the government move to bring closure to this gaping wound on our criminal justice system, asked a DAP lawmaker.

M Kulasegaran, MP for Ipoh Barat, said the coroner’s findings in the space of two months of police culpability in the 2013 deaths of C Sugumar and Chandran Perumal ought to “singe the conscience of the police” and prompt remedial action.

“I will not be surprised if any member of  public says that he or she  is not shocked to hear the news that the deaths of Sugumar and Chandran were due to the police’s negligence because there have been custodial deaths where the police were confirmed as culprits in causing them,” he asserted.

On Jan 16, the Coroner’s Court ruled that the death of lorry driver Chandran in a police lock-up two years ago was due to the negligence of police officers.

On March 6, Coroner Rozi Bainun found that the death of Sugumar in Kajang on Jan 23, 2013, was also due to police negligence.

Kulasegaran (left) observed that what was shocking about heart patient Chandran’s death was the deprivation of his medication by the police.

“If the details of Chandran’s and Sugumar’s deaths are not sufficient to singe the conscience of the police, I don’t know what will,” remarked the DAP national vice-chair.

Kulasegaran said the recurrent phenomena of custodial deaths was a gaping wound on the criminal justice system of the country which Malaysia, as  holder of a seat on the UN Security Council and as chair of Asean, can no longer ignore.

“It’s a wound on our psyche which will emit pus every time there is a death in police custody,” he stressed.

He said the Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission (IPCMC) which was the recommendation in 2005 of the Royal Commission of Inquiry into the management of the force must be drawn out of cold storage and implemented.

“I don’t see how the recommendation can be shelved when we are faced with a suppurating wound like recurrent cases of custodial deaths,” he said.

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