still waiting for second post mortem report

January 30th, 2009 by poobalan | View blog reactions Leave a reply »
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Kuhan is finally laid to rest, but the rest of us are anxiously waiting for the second post mortem report. Earlier, a Malaysian Insider article reported that:

A second autopsy on suspected car thief Kugan Ananthan has found external injuries caused by blunt force trauma, sources told The Malaysian Insider.

The 22-year-old, who died while in police custody on Jan 20, was said to have died of cardiac arrest following the injuries, the sources said.

Initial findings also revealed Kugan was asthmatic, and his condition had caused phlegm to accumulate in his lungs.

The full report is expected to be issued within days after Universiti Malaya Medical Centre pathologists carried out the autopsy that lasted nearly 10 hours on Sunday following a dispute over earlier findings that he had died of “water in the lungs”.

But that article was dismissed by the opposition politicians.

Today’s Sun provides another version, which is supported by the family’s lawyer:

The second post-mortem carried out on lock-up detainee A. Kugan who died in police custody last week is said to differ significantly in its findings.

Lawyer N.Surendran, who is representing the family of the deceased, said today the post-mortem report was not comprehensively ready as several tests are still being done.

He declined to reveal details of the preliminary findings of the post-mortem except that it was significantly different from that conducted initially at the Serdang Hospital soon after Kugan’s death.

He said the report will be submitted to the relevant authorities when it is ready.

So, which is which? Its been few days now, and the delay is attributed to the “comprehensive” tests being conducted. The post-mortem result at Serdang hospital took one day only. So, does it mean it was not done “comprehensively”?

Its also understood that the second post-mortem is being paid for by the family of the deceased and is being done by a pathologist in UMMC.  Is it also possible that the delay is to “massage” the results to favor the family? It sounds bad to imply this, but we must not discount the possibility that such thoughts can occur in the minds of the public. The faster the results are out, the better.

The injuries seen in the photos seemed to fresh. Added with the froth from the mouth, I don’t think its possible that the injuries were caused weeks before his arrest or were made during his arrest (he was caught after a car chase, according to some reports). The question is whether the injuries caused or contributed to his death. If not, it would not be classified as murder. This is my layman view. Lawyers can advice better. According to Malaysiakini, nine policemen will be charged under “causing hurt” or “causing griveous hurt”:

According to a source, at least nine rank-and-file personnel from the Subang Jaya police district CID department are expected to be hauled to court.

However, it is learnt that the officers – aged between late 20s and early 50s – could be slapped with a lesser charge instead of murder (Section 302 of the Penal Code), which carries the death penalty.

One possibility is for them to be charged with either ‘causing hurt’ (Section 330) or ‘causing grievous hurt’ (Section 331) to extort confession.

If found guilty, the police officers could face a maximum jail term of seven years (for causing hurt) or 10 years (for causing grievous hurt)

If the results are differently as claimed by the family’s lawyer, would that mean the initial post-mortem is flawed, thus calling for disciplinary action against the doctors and staff involved?

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