Tuesday, March 3, 2009

2nd post-mortem: Kugan beaten to death (updated)

Updated: Tuesday March 3, 2009 MYT 3:52:06 PM

2nd post-mortem: Kugan beaten to death (updated)

PETALING JAYA: The second post-mortem on suspected car thief A. Kugan showed that he died after being repeatedly beaten.

The post-mortem, conducted by a pathologist from the Universiti Malaya Medical Centre (UMMC) at the request of the 22-year-old’s family, also showed that he had multiple burn marks.

These V-shaped burn marks are believed to have been caused by a hot iron, said Kugan’s family lawyer N. Surendran at a press conference at the headquarters of political party PKR here Tuesday.

The first post-mortem conducted at the Serdang Hospital mortuary only examined the body from the chest up, Surendran said.

The second, which examined the entire body, found 42 other marks, burns and contusions from the sole of his feet right up to his head.

The UMMC pathologist declared, based on the post-mortem, that Kugan was beaten so badly that his tissues broke down and his kidneys failed, Surendran said.

The pathologist also found that Kugan had suffered hemorrhaging in his trachea, chest, spleen, stomach, the back of his neck and spine, and there were also signs of hemorrhaging in his heart.

The soles of his feet had many bruises caused by beatings and he also suffered blunt trauma to his skull.

The family will submit the second post-mortem report to the Attorney-General's Chambers Wednesday afternoon, he added.

Kugan was arrested on Jan 14 for suspected involvement in a car theft syndicate and was held at the USJ police station. He collapsed and died in the police station during interrogation on Jan 20.

The initial post-mortem revealed that he had died due to fluid in his lungs, but Kugan’s family entered the Serdang Hospital mortuary that same day and took photographs of his body, which showed severe bruising.

While initially saying no foul play was involved, police have now reclassified the case as murder for the purpose of investigation, at the urging of the Attorney-General.

Puchong MP Gobind Singh Deo and Teluk Intan MP M. Manogaran, who were also present at the press conference Tuesday, said that in the future, the Home Ministry should always insist on a second post-mortem when there are doubts over deaths in custody.

They also urged Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Musa Hassan to ensure that action is taken against those responsible.

All 11 policemen allegedly involved in the questioning of Kugan have been reassigned to desk duties pending investigations.

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