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Kugan: Detainee died from police abuse

Contributed by Anonymous on Tuesday, March 03 @ 06:56:34 CST

KUALA LUMPUR - A NEW Malaysian government autopsy on an ethnic Indian man found he died in police custody as a result of severe beatings with multiple burn marks on his body, his lawyer said on Tuesday. The second autopsy was carried out last month on the body of 22-year old suspected car thief A. Kugan who died on January 20, in a case that has put the spotlight on Malaysia's police force and its reputation for corruption and abuse.

The latest forensic examination appears to contradict the first post-mortem examination which said Kugan had died from fluid in his lungs. In January, the attorney-general reclassified the case as murder following protests in which family members stormed the morgue to take pictures of the body as evidence Kugan was beaten to death. His family also engaged a government pathologist to perform a second autopsy. 'The second post-mortem showed he had died of acute kidney failure due to severe beating on his body and his head,' the family's lawyer N. Surendran told AFP. He said the pathologist identified 42 marks from abuse on Kugan's body and found multiple V-shaped burn marks on his back which were said to have been caused by a hot metal object. Opposition lawmaker Gobind Singh Deo urged the attorney-general to charge those responsible with murder. 'It's obvious that the (culprit) intended to cause injury and death,' he told AFP. 'It's horrendous, this is evidence that the current system of interrogation by the police on suspects in custody is open to severe abuse and this must change.' The police could not be immediately reached for comment. Kugan's death sparked an uproar among the Indian community with more than 1,000 people attending Kugan's funeral. Ethnic Indians - descendants of labourers brought over by British colonial rulers in the 1800s - have complained they are marginalised in terms of education, wealth and opportunities. -- AFP
******* Second post-mortem suggests Kugan was tortured and severely beaten UPDATEDBy Neville Spykerman PETALING JAYA, March 3 — The results of a second autopsy released by the family of A Kugan shows the suspected car thief was beaten and eventually died from acute kidney failure. This appears to confirm widespread suspicion that the suspected criminal was beaten to death in police custody. The second post mortem was carried out by forensic pathologist Dr Prashant N Samberkar. It indicated Kugan died of acute renal failure as a result of a condition known as rhabdomyolysis, which is the rapid break-down of skeletal muscle tissue which will lead to kidney failure. The condition was likely to have been caused by blunt force trauma from the beating he sustained, according to the report. During a press conference, today, lawyer N Surendren said the findings of the second post mortem report was totally contrary to the first, which was carried out at the Serdang Hospital, on Feb 21, and indicated that Kugan died due to fluids in the lungs. More shocking is the extent of external injuries found on Kugan body, who died on Feb 20 after five days in police custody. The post-mortem reports indicate there were “41 external marks” on Kugan’s body including burn injuries and from beatings. Kugan was branded, just like how cattle are marked, by the “repeated application of heat with an instrument with a triangular surface, multiple “V” shape imprint burn wounds on the skin of his back. Some of the wounds were in their healing stage while others were infected. Surendren said the pathologist also found that Kugan’s stomach was empty which also meant he was being starved at the time. “I hope the police hang their heads in shame, institute reforms and stop putting obstacles in the implementation of the Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission.” He added that the second post mortem report will be handed to the Attorney-General’s chambers tomorrow. Teluk Intan MP M Manogaran said the post-mortem report was a damning indictment of the police. “In my 15 years, of (law) practice I have never seen so severe injuries in a case of death.” He added that confessions were no longer admissible in court and he failed to understand why the police went to such an extent to brutalised a suspect. Manogaran said there was death in custody almost every month and no one knew how many suspects were being treated this way. “I am afraid this could happened to even my own children and I am embarrassed that the police would resort to interrogation methods.” Puchong MP Gobind Singh Deo said the case highlights the need for independent inquiries to be held for all death in custody cases. He said families of victims should be allowed to have second post-mortem reports done to satisfy themselves that their loved ones were not tortured in police custody. Meanwhile Kota Raja MP Dr Siti Mariah Mahmood said she was shocked at the findings of the second post-mortem but advised the public not to turn the matter into a racial issue. She said this was not a racial issue, but a question of humanity, because it can happen to anyone who is in police custody. “What if it was our children and how would we feel if they were?” she asked.********NST2009/03/04
Beaten, branded in police custody By : Alang Bendahara

PETALING JAYA: Police detainee A. Kugan was beaten to death over a six-day period which also saw him being "branded" 20 times, the second post-mortem report on him revealed yesterday. He died of kidney failure caused by muscle injury, a finding that differed from the first post-mortem, which had stated that the 22-year-old had died of pulmonary oedema or fluid in the lungs.

Kugan's family lawyer, N. Surendran, said University of Malaya Medical Centre (UMMC) pathologist Dr Prashant N. Samberkar found "V" shaped burns on the back of Kugan's body.

He said the second post-mortem on Jan 25 also found bruises throughout the front and back of the body. The first post-mortem was conducted by the Serdang Hospital pathologist on Jan 21.

Surendran said abrasions were found on his hands and legs caused by handcuffs and ankle cuffs.
The report also revealed intensive haemorrhage in several internal organs including the gall bladder, pancreas, adrenal glands and inside his skull.

Surendran, speaking at the Parti Keadilan Rakyat headquarters in Tropicana Dama-nsara here, said Kugan died of acute renal failure as a result of blunt trauma to the muscles.

The report stated that Kugan's death was because of rhabdomyolysis, the rapid breakdown of skeletal muscle tissue caused by injury.

The destruction of muscles lead to the release of the breakdown products such as myoglobin, which may cause acute kidney failure.

The damage may come from physical, chemical, or biological factors.

Surendran said he received the autopsy report with photographs from Dr Prashant at 5.30pm on Monday in the presence of the UMMC legal officer.

He said the report also showed that Kugan's stomach was empty at the time of his death "probably due to the fact that he was starved during six days of interrogation".

Surendran said the report showed the need for the setting up the Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission to ensure such incidents do not recur.

"The pain that Kugan went through is simply unimaginable. The family wants to see all the perpetrators charged for murder and nothing less than murder."

Surendran said the second post-mortem showed that the assailants could forsee that Kugan would have died.

"The evidence in the second post mortem shows that there was intention for murder."

He said the family had yet to receive a toxicology report in from Australia, but added it would ascertain if drugs were administered to Kugan before his death.

"We understand that the report will arrive soon. It was delayed by the forest fires in Australia."

He said the complete report would be given to Attorney-General Tan Sri Gani Patail at his office in Putrajaya at 2.30pm today.

Also present were Kapar Member of Parliament S. Manikavasagam, Teluk Intan MP M. Manoharan, Human Rights Committee coordinator S. Jayathas and Kugan's relatives.



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