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No cover-up in probe into Kugan’s death: Khalid

Updated at 6.30pm, 22 Jan 2009

KUALA LUMPUR, 22 Jan 2009: Police will investigate the cause of death of a detainee in Subang Jaya as there were allegations that he died of physical abuse, said Selangor police chief Datuk Khalid Abu Bakar.

He said a post-mortem report showed that A Kugan, 22, died of lung infection although there were injury marks on his body.

“I hope the family and the public will be patient as there will be no cover-up in the investigation,” he told reporters after the launch of a road safety campaign at the Kajang-Seremban Highway (Lekas) here today.

“We regret that the family and members of the public barged into the Serdang Hospital mortuary where the body was kept, yesterday.

“We will record a statement from a deputy minister, who was present then,” he said.

Kugan was detained on 15 Jan on suspicion of being involved in stealing luxury cars in Sungai Chua, Kajang.

He was brought to the police station in Subang Jaya on 20 Jan, where he collapsed and died while being questioned.

Before he collapsed, he had asked for a glass of water and had vomited after drinking.

The police officers present immediately summoned a doctor from a nearby clinic to examine Kugan, who was pronounced dead shortly after.

Meanwhile, two deputy ministers in the Prime Minister’s Department, Datuk SK Devamany and Senator T Murugiah, said today they were prepared to have their statements recorded by the police.

Both Devamany and Murugiah were at the Serdang Hospital yesterday when a group of people (including Kugan’s family) created a commotion at the mortuary where Kugan’s body was kept.

Devamany, who is also MIC treasurer-general, told Bernama the Sepang police had contacted him over the statement.

“I got a call from someone who told me about this case and hoped [I would be] at the hospital where the post-mortem was conducted. It was not only to seek the truth for the family of the man but also to calm down the situation and ensure that it was under control,” he said.

Murugiah said he went to the hospital after receiving a few calls from the media about a commotion there, and that he and Devamany managed to calm the situation.

“My duty as per the Public Complaints Bureau is to check on complaints from the public. Is it an offence to address public complaints?” he said.

Murugiah also said that he had briefed Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Tan Sri Bernard Dompok on the suspect’s death and that the minister had agreed to raise the matter with Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi. — Bernama


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