The IGP should do the honourable thing and resign after Aminulrasyid’s verdict
25 March 2016
Lawyers for Liberty welcomes the High Court verdict yesterday in the civil suit by the family members of Aminulrasyid Amzah, who was shot dead by the police on 26 April 2010, when he was just 14 years old. The court allowed claims of pain and suffering, aggravated and exemplary damages for the wrongful shooting and killing of the deceased by Corporal Jenain Subi. The court further allowed a claim for the tort of public misfeasance against the current IGP Khalid Abu Bakar, who was then the Selangor Police Chief for giving false/ reckless information on the incident to the media.
The High Court’s finding against Khalid Abu Bakar is extremely troubling as this is the second time he had been found liable for the tort of public misfeasance, the other case being the death in custody of A.Kugan in 2009, where he had made similar false/ reckless remarks to the press in order to cover up the wrongful conduct of police personnel.
Khalid Abu Bakar had in a press conference on the next day after the fatal shooting of Aminulrasyid, attempted to justify the incident when he informed the media that the deceased had reversed his car into several policemen thus leaving them no choice but to open fire. He further said the police found a parang in the car of the deceased, leading the police to believe that the occupants were armed robbers. These remarks were widely published in the press and were not disputed in court. The court, after weighing all the evidence, found these allegations by Khalid Abu Bakar to be unfounded and he never testified despite being called to do so.
The court found Corporal Jenain Subi had acted in disregard of police procedures, the Inspector General Standing Orders (IGSO) when he discharged his sub-machine gun recklessly in a volley of 21 shots in succession at the deceased’s car when it was clear that the car did not pose any threat to the public or the police officers in their patrol cars at the time.
It is therefore clear that the information given by Khalid Abu Bakar to the press was without basis, a blatant attempt to cover up or justify the wrongful fatal shooting of Aminulrasyid. A case for further investigations can certainly be made out for offences under Chapter XI of the Penal Code for False Evidence and Offences Against Public Justice and the police department’s internal disciplinary procedure.
The court findings against Khalid Abu Bakar in A. Kugan’s case (affirmed in the Court of Appeal) and now Aminulrasyid are extremely serious as it essentially meant that he had intentionally or recklessly abused his position as a public officer and caused harm against the deceased persons. Needless to say, as the top police officer in the country, he is setting an extremely bad example to the rest of the police force by his intentional or reckless misbehaviour in covering up the most serious form of police misconduct i.e. fatal police shooting and death in custody.
Due to the double court findings of public misfeasance against Khalid Abu Bakar and the irresponsible manner in which he had carried out his duties as a senior ranking police officer, we therefore call for the immediate resignation of Khalid Abu Bakar as the Inspector General of Police.
We further call upon the judiciary, the Attorney-General’s Chambers and the police to take more seriously issues that involve state violence especially extrajudicial killings. They must be particularly vigilant against the serious abuse of police powers that sidesteps the criminal justice process and takes on the role of judge, jury and executioner.
We reiterate our calls for the government to implement the recommendation of the Royal Commission to Enhance the Operation and Management of the Royal Malaysia Police (May 2005), for the setting up of an Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission (IPCMC) to function as an independent and external oversight body to investigate complaints about police personnel.
Lawyers for Liberty
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