PETALING JAYA, 28 JANUARY, 2011: V Navindran who was accused of causing grievous hurt to A Kugan was found not guilty by the Sessions Court today.
Judge Aslam Zainuddin in his decision said the prosecution had failed to establish a prima facie case against the police constable.
Navindran, 28, was charged under Section 331 of the Penal Code which provides for a maximum jail term of 10 years and a fine, upon conviction.
He was accused for voluntarily causing grievous hurt in order to extract a confession from the 23-year-old Kugan, who died at the USJ police station lockup on January 20, 2009.
Navindran pleaded not guilty to two alternative charges of causing hurt to Kugan, who was detained by the police two years ago on suspicion of having been involved in car thefts, under Section 330 of the Penal Code.
The police constable will be resuming work at Taipan police station in USJ, Subang Jaya and told that he is very happy and grateful of the results.
Meanwhile, DPP Abazafree Mohd Abbas later confirmed that the prosecution was awaiting for orders from the Attorney-General on whether to appeal against the decision.
In Kuala Lumpur, family members of the late Kugan were greatly disappointed that the man accused of causing his death was acquitted by the Petaling Jaya Session Court this morning.
According to reports, Kugan’s aunt, Renuka Subramaniam said the family is will still seek for justice over Kugan’s death.
Renuka expressed her dissatisfaction with the decision saying that Malaysians now do not feel safe as they can end up dying under police custody.
“We have been mourning the loss of our son for over two years and today his mother wants to know what has happened to him. What can we tell her?” she said.
She commented that the court’s decision today reflects that no party is being held culpable for the injuries found on Kugan’s body or his death.
She also said that if the police are allowed to continue like this, then many more will die while under custody.
“We can’t take it anymore. What have the police done to our family? He would have been 24 but he is already dead,” she said.
Kugan’s mother, N Indira, only managed to say she wanted her son back, before she broke into tears.
Kugan’s death caused nationwide uproar, thus affecting the public’s trust towards the police force.
According to critics, Kugan’s death was one of the many custodial deaths in Malaysia, mostly involving Indians detained by police, which further alienated the community.
Kugan died after being held for five days in police detention to aid investigations over the theft of luxury cars where the death was initially classified as sudden death and attributed to water in his lungs according, to an initial post-mortem report.
The case was then reclassified as murder following public outcry.
However, beliefs that the youth was tortured while in custody after a second post-mortem was conducted at the insistence of his family, and pictures from it released online indicated Kugan had suffered severe injuries on his body.
Accusations of coverups were also raised when the police were reluctant to allow the second post-mortem to be conducted and also the differences of the two reports.
Upon Kugan’s death, 11 rank and file policemen were transferred to desk duty at the Selangor police headquarters.
PKR vice president and lawyer N Surendran also confirmed that family is requesting for a royal commission of inquiry over Kugan’s death.