KUALA LUMPUR (Nov 6, 2012): In a dramatic turn of events, former Constable V Navindran, sentenced to three years jail for causing hurt to S Kugan who died in police custody, testified in a High Court today that he was an unwilling “scapegoat”.

Navindran, 32, said that before he was charged, the former district police chief had a meeting with all officers involved in overseeing Kugan in custody, to decide who among them would be the “scapegoat”.

Navindran said in the end, he was chosen.

He said this when asked by his lawyer R Ramesh Sivakumar on what took place before he was charged in court for causing hurt to Kugan.

When Ramesh asked if he had caused the death of Kugan, Navindran said: “I did not, at any time, cause the death of Kugan.”

Ramesh also asked for the factors that led to the death, to which Navindran said there were many.

Among others, Kugan was interrogated continuously with turns taken by the officers over 24 hours, causing him to not have enough sleep for a few days, he said, adding that there was also inadequate attention given to food and drinks for Kugan.

He said Kugan’s safety was not taken care of and he was exposed to the risk of being hurt by any parties that had access to the Taipan Police station where he was held.

Navindran is being sued by Kugan’s mother N Indra over the death of her son, along with the Deputy Inspector of General Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar, who was then Selangor Chief Police Officer, former OCPD of Subang Jaya Zainal Rashid Abu Bakar (deceased), the Inspector General of Police (IGP) and the government of Malaysia.

Indra is seeking RM100 million in damages for negligence and breach of statutory duty.

Navindran, who was then attached to the serious crime branch at Taipan station, said on the day of the incident, he had come to work early.

He said two other officers were taking care of Kugan.

He said suddenly one of them shouted at him to get permission from his superior to call a doctor to treat Kugan, who was having breathing difficulties.

He said after obtaining permission from his superior, he went out and called a doctor from a clinic.

The doctor came and confirmed Kugan’s death.

Navindran said according to his knowledge, Kugan was in police custody between Jan 15, 2009 and Jan 20, 2009.

He said the routine had affected Kugan’s health so badly that sometimes he looked “kaku” (stiff) and lost in his thoughts.

He also said the last persons who were with Kugan were two other officers and not him.

Navindran said he is only a subordinate personnel, who follows the instructions of his superiors.

He is also appealing against his three years jail sentence at the Court of Appeal.

The hearing before High Court (civil) judge Datuk VT Singham will continue this Friday.

In the statement of claim, Indra said Kugan was arrested by the police on Jan 14, 2009.

On Jan 20, at about 9pm, a police officer informed her that her son had died while he was in custody.

Indra is seeking for RM50 million for damages over assault and battery, RM10 million for damages for false imprisonment for a period of seven days, RM10 million damages for misfeasance of public offence, RM10 million for aggravated damages, RM10 million for exemplary damages, RM10 million for vindicatory damages.

She is also seeking for damages for dependent and for the benefit of the estate of the deceased.

She is also wants a declaration that the defendants had wilfully and maliciously breached the fundamental liberties of the deceased and seeking for interests, costs and any other relief deemed just and fit by the court.

Posted on 6 November 2012 – 05:01pm
Last updated on 7 November 2012 – 08:21am

S.Tamarai ChelviĀ [email protected]