Charge 'em (Updated)

29 Apr 2016 / 00:17 H.

PUTRAJAYA: Four senior police officers linked to the death of police detainee N. Dharmendran, 31, at the D9 (serious crime division) lock-up in Kuala Lumpur should face charges over their alleged involvement in tampering and falsifying evidence, says the Enforcement Agency Integrity Commission (EAIC).
EAIC chairman Datuk Yaacob Md Sam said the commission had recommended to the Attorney-General's Chambers to consider criminal charges against the officers identified in the report.
Dharmendran, who was arrested on May 11, 2013 on suspicion of attempted murder involving firearms, was found dead in his cell 10 days later with his ears stapled and "52 bruises caused by a blunt force object".
Yaacob told a press conference at the EAIC headquarters today that the commission recommended that the officers be charged for the offence of fabricating false information or misrepresentations and tampering of the D9 Lock-Up Station Dairy.
They also urged the inspector-general of police (IGP) to take disciplinary action against those responsible.
"We have identified officers for either jointly or abetting in fabricating false information or misrepresentation of the entries in the D9 Lock-up Station Dairy in relation to the facts surrounding the death of Dharmendran.
The senior officers have been identified as SAC Khairi Ahrasa, who was the deputy head of CID (Intelligence and Operation) of the Kuala Lumpur police headquarters; ACP Yahya Abdul Rahman, who was the officer-in-charge of D9; DSP Glenn Anthony Sinappah, who was the second officer-in-charge of D9; and Insp S. Hare Krishnan, a D9 officer.
Yaacob said action should also be taken against SAC Khairi and two members of the Project Team for tampering with times in the lock-up station dairy.
He said the EAIC found at least six lock-up entries by the sentries to be "false/misrepresentation" while another five were found to have been written in an unusual manner two or three days after the death of Dharmendran.
"A/SAC Khairi and Sergeant Mahor Ali had been involved in using another police officer to make a false report pertaining to the death of Dharmendran," Yaacob said.
On May 21, Dharmendran was found dead in his cell while under police custody at the Kuala Lumpur Contingent Headquarters (IPK Kuala Lumpur).
He was arrested on May 11, 2013 on suspicion of attempted murder involving firearms and had been held under remand from May 12, 2013 until his death.
Initially, Kuala Lumpur Criminal Investigation Department chief SAC Datuk Ku Chin Wah reportedly said that Dharmendran died due to "breathing difficulties".
However, a post-mortem examination conducted at the Kuala Lumpur General Hospital on May 22 revealed that the cause of death was determined to be "diffused soft tissue injuries due to multiple blunt force trauma".
Yaacob said they had presented the IGP with reasons as to why disciplinary action should be taken against the senior officers named in the report.
He said 52 bruises on the deceased were caused by a blunt force object (blunt force trauma) causing acute loss of blood into the tissues causing hypovolemic shock.
Hypovolemic shock, also known as haemorrhagic shock, is a life-threatening condition that results when you lose more than 20% (one-fifth) of your body's blood or fluid supply. This severe fluid loss makes it impossible for the heart to pump a sufficient amount of blood to your body.
"We found that physical force caused injuries and the death of Dharmendran while in custody and during interrogation," he said.
Yaacob said two senior officers had given illogical and unreasonable explanations on the two staples found embedded in the deceased ears.
One officer had claimed that the staples could have been embedded when they were wrapping the body prior to sending it to the hospital mortuary and another
officer said it could have occurred at the mortuary.
He pointed out when the staples were removed they had blood in them and the pathologist confirmed that Dharmendran's ears were stapled while he was still alive.
Yaacob said the commission would be following up on what action should be taken following their recommendations.
Meanwhile, Inspector-General of Police, Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar hit out at Yaacob, saying the matter was currently in court and should not be discussed.
"It would be sub-judice towards the case to talk about it in the open.
"The statement from Yaacob makes it seem like the police have failed to act against the personnel concerned.
"However, an investigation has already been carried out and based on this, the AG had ordered those concerned to be charged for murder under Section 302 of the Penal Code," he said in a statement.
He said the policemen had since been charged in the Kuala Lumpur High Court on June 5, 2013, adding that the police never protected any personnel or officer who committed a crime.

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