THE policeman taking care of death-in-custody victim A. Kugan in 2009 told the High Court yesterday he was “not sure” why he did not report colleague V. Navindran’s alleged assault on the victim to his superiors even after Kugan’s death in a police lock-up.
Mohd Haizan Hamid, the lance-corporal who claimed to have witnessed Navindran beating up Kugan on the morning of Jan 16, 2009, admitted to having failed to report the matter in the station diary. He also did not report the matter to then Subang Jaya police chief ACP Zainal Rashid Abu Bakar when met by Zainal.
“It was my mistake (not reporting it),” he said while taking the stand as the final witness in the RM100 million negligence suit filed by Kugan’s mother, N. Indra, against the government.
Pressed by judge Datuk V.T. Singham as to why he did not report the matter even after Kugan’s death, Mohd Haizan said he did not know how to answer.
Mohd Haizan’s statement was used as the core evidence to charge Navindran with causing hurt to Kugan in the Petaling Jaya Sessions Court last year, but he claimed he did not know his statement was the main reason why Navindran was charged.
Mohd Haizan’s admission that the district police chief had called for a private meeting with all 14 officers from the D9 police unit after Kugan’s death tallied with Navindran’s earlier testimony, in which he told the court that Zainal had, during a private meeting, asked one police officer to be chosen to take the blame for Kugan’s death.
Asked to verify if Zainal had made any such statement, Mohd Haizan said he “can’t remember” the details of the meeting and could not be sure if Zainal had made any such a request.
Mohd Haizan admitted that no internal disciplinary action was taken against him for failing to record Navindran’s alleged assault on Kugan and that he was “merely transferred” a few times and currently served as an officer at the Kajang courts.
He also maintained that he did not see what object Navindran used to assault Kugan, despite admitting to being only about 3m away when he saw the incident before pulling Navindran away from the scene.
Mohd Haizan’s testimony drew the trial to a close and Singham set Feb 28 for final submissions. Counsel Latheefa Koya and R.L. Bani Prakash represented Kugan’s mother.
The RM100 million negligence suit was filed in January last year, naming Navindran, Zainal, then Selangor police chief Datuk Seri Khalid Abu Bakar, the inspector-general of police and the government as the defendants.