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Kugan’s death classified as murder (Updated 10:10pm)

(Updated 10:10pm; 23 Jan 2009)

Cause of police detainee’s death to be investigated by the police
(magnifying glass pic © Steve Woods /

PUTRAJAYA, 23 Jan 2009: Attorney-General Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail has classified the death of car theft suspect A Kugan while in police custody as murder.

Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail
(pic source: Jabatan
Peguam Negara)

Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department T Murugiah said Abdul Gani contacted him this morning to inform him about the matter and to convey the matter to the victim’s family members and to the public.

“He had instructed the police to carry out thorough investigations,” he told reporters here.

He hoped that the victim’s family would cooperate fully in the impending investigations.

Serdang Hospital
(pic source: Ministry of Health website)

“In this respect, we should should give our full cooperation and not point fingers on any quarter,” he said.

Kugan, 22, who was arrested on 15 Jan on suspicion of being involved in the theft of luxury cars, died while in police custody at 11am on 20 Jan.

The family claimed that there were injuries on Kugan’s body despite the autopsy report stating that the death was due to fluid accumulation in the lungs.

Kugan’s funeral was supposed to take place at 6pm yesterday at Batu 14, Puchong where about 1,000 people had gathered but the family wanted a second autopsy done. The body was sent to Universiti Malaya Medical Centre for an independent postmortem.

Meanwhile in PETALING JAYA, a special Bukit Aman investigation team has recorded statements from police officers who were on duty, when Kugan died in custody at a police station in Subang Jaya on 20 Jan.

Headed by Federal CID deputy director Datuk Shatar Abdul Jalil, the team had taken statements from 11 police officers from constables to corporals aged between 25 and 30 at various places including the Selangor contingent headquarters since 21 Jan.

“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 (the case),” said Selangor police chief Datuk Khalid Abu Bakar told reporters here today.

He said the special team was set up to investigate allegations by Kugan’s family that he was physically abused by police.

Khalid said a report on the injury marks found on Kugan’s body would be submitted by Serdang Hospital in a few days’ time.

“We’ve got Kugan’s postmortem report yesterday and we are waiting for a report on injury marks on his face and body. We will let the media know about it,” he said.

On Kugan’s family decision to have another postmortem as it was not convinced that he died of lung infection, he said:

“The police will not seek a second postmortem as there is no provision for that.

“However, we will not stop the victim’s family from getting a court order to have a second postmortem. But I am not sure whether they will be happy with the results.”

Meanwhile, in a statement today, Amnesty International said the Malaysian authorities must initiate an independent, impartial, prompt and effective investigation into Kugan’s death.

“Only through a prompt and impartial investigation will people really know what happened to Kugan,” said Hazel Galang, Amnesty International’s Malaysia Researcher.

“The government needs to show it is taking a strong stand against torture, especially with the country’s human rights record set to be scrutinised by the United Nations Human Rights Council in February.”

Amnesty International had previously reported on cases of police torture in Malaysia.

Kugan’s death in custody follows the case of B Prabakar, a 27-year-old car park attendant, who alleges that he was tortured by at least 10 police officers at the Brickfields police district headquarters in Selangor State in December 2008.

On 15 Jan, seven cops were charged with causing hurt in the case. — Bernama

See also: Bar wants independent investigation

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8 Responses to “Kugan’s death classified as murder (Updated 10:10pm)”

  1. Singam says:

    Khalid’s ridiculous denial of foul play and Ghani Patail’s admittance of unwarranted violence are merely sandiwara played according to the political flavour of the moment.

    The things that really matter are the motivation behind the police cruelty, the apparently thoughtless manner of release of the body, the subsequent series of actions, and the players behind these moves. Who was the real target of this despicable series of events? Was there any element of provocation in what was done?

    These questions may never be answered to anyone’s satisfaction.

  2. johnny says:

    A barbaric act! Need to send those involved behind bars.

  3. Jocky says:

    This is another time bomb for the government. The spin masters representing various groups love this kind of scandal that the police are contributing to. Whatever it is, it is bad publicity for the government.

  4. Agnew says:

    Foul play allegation notwithstanding, consider what the deceased was detained for. He was suspected of being a car thief. Criminal suspect. Please let the authorities complete their investigation first. Don’t make a martyr of someone who is clearly not.

  5. Homer says:

    Because of the stupidity of the police and the Home Minister, this issue is now a political one. It has become an issue that sinks another nail into the low credibility and trust toward the government.

  6. Going Nuts* says:

    It’s an open secret, that criminals in remand are not there to enjoy a five-star stay. But ending up in a coffin, without being present in court is rather shocking although it’s becoming the norm these days. Professionalism needs to be maintained at all costs in order to steer this case. Let’s not even go to the topic of racial discrimination, political agendas, religion, etc.

    It’s sad to think that we Malaysians are all out to protest the brutality against Palestinians to instill justice but are unable to practice the same compassion to a fellow Malaysian who underwent brutality, possibly due to foul play. If DSAI himself had a black eye then you and I are … it’s scary. Let’s think as compassionate humans and not hide behind anything else. An unnatural death is to be classified the same, be it in the thousands, millions or even a single death, no matter the victim’s religion, age, race, political grouping, and even if the victim was a criminal. A CRIME never solves a CRIME.

  7. KW Mak says:


    Kugan will never be a martyr. He was a victim.

    But he will end up just being another statistic unless the people actually care enough to demand to know what really happened while he was being interrogated at the police station.

    Do not confuse the issue.

  8. OUR RIGHTS!! says:

    Kugan is a friend of mine. As far as I know, he’s a nice guy. I really could not believe he can be a car thief. Seriously the charges are fake. A suspect can’t be murdered! Where are his human rights? Whoever was involved in Kugan’s death should be punished! Kugan is a hero actually. He is the eye-opener for everyone!

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