Posted: 2:58 pm, March 15, 2017 by editor
KUALA LUMPUR, Mar 15: DAP’s Klang MP Charles Santiago has urged the Home Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi to appoint a special public prosecutor for the case of S. Balamurugan’s custodial death.
“In the interest of justice and in order to increase public confidence in the police force, the Home Minister must appoint a public prosecutor to work with the EAIC (Enforcement Agency Integrity Commission) and bring the perpetrators to justice.
Earlier today, in a written reply to Santiago, Zahid had said that the Home Ministry would establish an investigation committee to investigate Balamurugan’s death in custody case.
However, at a press conference in the Parliament lobby, Santiago described the Deputy Prime Minister’s reply as a “hands off” approach.
“Will the government be appointing a task force to investigate the murder or the death of Balamurugan di lock up Klang Utara.
“He sang praises about the investigation prowess of the police and said he remains confident that the police will remain impartial.
“Unfortunately the reality on the ground is different.
“Here the police are investigating themselves and despite the number of deaths in police custody, no policemen have been charged,” Santiago told reporters.
He said that earlier this week the Home Ministry indicated that there were 1,654 cases of deaths in custody since 2010, averaging 19 deaths per month.
“As such Zahid Hamidi’s response smacks off irresponsibility and dereliction of duty as he is entrusted by the state to ensure the highest level of integrity and standards of the police force,” said Santiago.
He said that the EAIC and National Human’s Rights Commission (SUHAKAM) have started their investigations on the death of Balamurugan and the process is open to public, a stark contrast to the police investigation.
“Both EAIC and Suhakam should be commended for their pro-active approach in investigating the recent three deaths in police custody,” he said.
On Feb 8, Balamurugan died while in police custody. He was reportedly said to have been found with a swollen and bleeding face.
(The Malaysian Times)