By Frankie D'Cruz and Nevash Nair March 04, 2009 Malay Mail
torture of 22-year-old A. Kugan in police custody that included
hot-branding him like an animal, unheard of in local crime history,
will open fresh investigations into his death.
Dr Abdul Karim Tajuddin of Serdang Hospital, who conducted the first
post-mortem, and the 11 policemen who interrogated Kugan are now at the
centre of a new police probe.
Police sources last night told Malay Mail
that the revelations of the second autopsy are “horrific
“Much as we would like it to be an isolated case, such torture of a detainee is unthinkable,” said a source.
are being asked if there was a “cover-up” and certain quarters have
demanded for Selangor police chief DCP Datuk Khalid Abu Bakar's
Kapar MP S. Manicakavasagam has branded Khalid a “liar”.
Abdul Karim has not only to answer to the police but the Malaysian
Medical Council as well “due to the huge discrepancies in both the
reports”, say sources.
The sources said Dr Abdul Karim, who did
the first post-mortem on Jan 21, has to be interviewed by police again
“as his and the independent report don’t make sense”.
there is also a possibility that the deceased's family might level
charges against him for making a false or incomplete post-mortem
report,” a source said.
Another inexplicable point, said
Kugan’s family lawyer, N. Surendran, is that the second post-mortem
report indicated that no examination below the heart area of the
deceased’s body was conducted during the first post-mortem.
Surendran said this was confusing as it was compulsory for any pathologist to conduct a complete check.
Questions have been raised over how Dr Abdul Karim could have missed:
A 5.5cm x 4.5cm area of contusion over the entire back of Kugan with
multiple, repeated application of heat with an instrument or object
with a triangular surface.
● This caused multiple “V” shaped burn wounds on Kugan’s back.
These wounds were healing, as was evident from the formation of black
crust and a few were infected and covered with purulent exudates or, in
layman’s terms, pus.
The police would have to record fresh
statements from all concerned “given the shocking nature of the
report”, said police sources of the explosive independent second
autopsy report released by Kugan’s family lawyers yesterday.
had been reported that police had been mulling charging the 11
policemen allegedly involved with voluntarily causing hurt to extort a
confession under Section 330 of the Penal Code.
All 11 are
currently on desk duty at Selangor police headquarters in Shah Alam and
the sources said suspensions were now unavoidable “as the (second)
post-mortem report is a damning indictment of the police”.
The second post-mortem at University Malaya Medical Centre (UMMC) was commissioned
by Kugan’s family after they were dissatisfied with the first report tendered by Serdang Hospital.
whether Attorney-General Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail will accept an
independent autopsy report, lawyers said he was duty-bound to do so.
Pakatan Rakyat MPs will hand the report to Gani at his office in Putrajaya today. Gani yesterday declined comment.
said he received the autopsy report, with photographs, from UMMC
pathologist Dr Prashant N. Samberkar at 5.30pm on Monday in the
presence of the UMMC legal officer.
Surendran alleged that the report showed that the assailants could foresee that Kugan would have died.
Kugan died at the Subang Taipan police station on Jan 20, six days after he had been arrested in connection with car thefts.
What he suffered
Lawyer N. Surendran, who listed the abuse A. Kugan
endured, summed it up thus: "It appears that Kugan was severely
tortured over a period of days and the kind of pain he suffered is
The abuse discovered in the second autopsy, according to Surendran:
Being burnt 17 times with an extremely hot iron instrument:
Kugan was branded, just like how cattle are marked,
by the "repeated application of heat with an instrument with a
triangular surface". There were multiple "V"-shaped burn wounds
imprinted on his back. Some wounds were healing while others were
Almost the entire back was covered with contusions, marks and bruises;
Starved during his detention;
Suffered massive internal bleeding due to repeated beatings:
There was haemorrhaging in many of his internal
organs, including his heart, left lung, spleen and kidneys, the back of
his neck, spine area and the soles of his feet, which showed that he
took consistent beatings;
Suffered internal bleeding in the scalp area following repeated beatings with a blunt object;
Died of acute kidney failure due to the assault:
The beatings had caused a breakdown in Kugan's muscle cells which then congested the blood flow and resulted in kidney failure.