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Kugan: Hospital: Mob tampered with Kugan's body

Contributed by Anonymous on Thursday, March 05 @ 00:14:27 CST

By : By Farrah Naz Karim farrah

NST, March 05 2009 PUTRAJAYA: Serdang Hospital yesterday fought back against accusations of a misleading post-mortem on police detainee A. Kugan.
Its director, Dr Mohd Norzi Ghazali, said a mob of about 50 people had barged in and tampered with the body before any post-mortem was carried out by the hospital's forensics pathologist.

Dr Norzi said his medical officers sought cover for two hours in a connecting room of the mortuary as they feared being hurt by the mob.

The post-mortem, he said, was supposed to take place at 8am the next day as police personnel had to be present during the procedure.

A report on the incident at the morgue by the hospital authorities stated that Kugan's fully-clothed body was in a body bag, which had been torn open by the mob.
The medical officers also reported they were shocked to see a pool of Kugan's blood on the floor of the mortuary.

This, the report said, indicated that wounds on the body could have been inflicted after his death.

The report also stated that the 22-year-old had died of pulmonary oedema or fluid in the lungs. It also stated that there were no fractures on his body or damage to his vital organs.

However, Kugan's family lawyer, N. Surendran, said the second post-mortem conducted by University Malaya Medical Centre's pathologist Dr Prashant N. Samberkar revealed that his death was due to kidney failure caused by muscle injury that might be attributed to physical, chemical or biological factors.

Dr Norzi told the New Straits Times that both post-mortems were "weak evidence" in the case as they had been conducted after the body had been tampered with.

On claims that Kugan, a suspected car thief, had been starved for six days before he died, Dr Norzi said a person's stomach would be cleared of traces of food about four hours after his last meal.

Attorney-General Chambers' prosecution division head Tun Majid Tun Hamzah received the second post-mortem report from Surendran yesterday.

Tun Majid said comparisons would be made between the reports for a just decision.

"This won't be long, hopefully within this month. The chambers will inform the public of its decision."

Kugan died at the Subang Taipan police station while being interrogated on Jan 20, six days after he was arrested in connection with car thefts.

Kapar member of parliament S. Manikavasagam, who accompanied Surendran to the chambers, said a police report would be lodged against the Serdang pathologist either tomorrow or Saturday "over a false and misleading post-mortem".

In Kuala Lumpur, Deputy Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Ismail Omar said police would wait for the A-G's decision before taking action against the 11 policemen involved in Kugan's death.

Federal Criminal Investigation Department director Datuk Bakri Zinin said he had obtained a copy of the second post-mortem report from Prashant.

"As per procedure, we will record his statement," he said.

In Kota Baru, Home Minister Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar has reiterated that the case should not be politicised.

He said he was surprised that the second post-mortem report was announced at the office of Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) on Tuesday.

"When it was announced at the PKR office, it means that they are mixing a crime investigation with politics. This case has nothing to do with politics."



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