An independent post-mortem report has revealed that deceased 22-year-old police detainee Kugan Ananthan had endured severe beatings and was also starved during his incarceration.
The post-mortem conducted by a Universiti Hospital pathologist who was commissioned by the deceased’s family found that the car theft suspect had died of kidney failure due to the assault.
The beatings had caused a breakdown in Kugan’s muscle cells which then congested the blood flow and resulted in kidney failure.
The findings were revealed by the family’s lawyer N Surendran at a press conference held in the PKR headquarters in Tropicana this afternoon.
“As opposed to the past statement given by the police and the first post-mortem report (which stated that Kugan died of fluid accumulation in his lungs), the second report shows that he had died of acute renal failure due to rhabdomyolysis.
“Which is to say that he died due to the muscle cells disintegrating into his bloodstream and absorbed by the kidney which resulted in kidney failure and death,” said the lawyer.
‘Burnt with extremely heated iron bar’
Showing pictorial evidence to reporters, Surendran said graphic photos taken from the post-mortem report showed that Kugan suffered from massive internal bleeding due to repeated beatings.
“Kugan had hemorrhage in many of his internal organs, his heart, left lung, spleen, kidneys, back of his neck, spine area and the sole of his feet which shows that he took consistent beatings,” he added.
Kugan also suffered from internal bleeding in the scalp area following repeated beatings with a blunt object.
The post-mortem report also stated that Kugan sustained more than 10 severe burn wounds on his back “probably as a result of being burnt by an extremely heated V-shaped iron bar.”
“Almost the entire part of his back is covered with contusions, beating marks and bruises,” said Surendran, adding that the report also indicated that Kugan “was starved during the entire time he was tortured.”
“In brief, it appears that Kugan was severely tortured over period of days and the kind of pain he had suffered is unimaginable.
“One could only imagine what was going through this young man’s mind (during the torture). Perhaps, he had wanted to die (to escape the torture), we wouldn’t know,” he said.
Procedural exclusion in first post-mortem
Another baffling point, said Surendran, is the fact that the second post-mortem report indicated that no examination below the heart area of Kugan’s body was conducted during the first post-mortem.
Surendran said this was puzzling as it is compulsory for any pathologist to conduct a complete check-up.
The independent post-mortem report was commissioned by Kugan’s family after they were dissatisfied with the first report tendered by Serdang Hospital.
Kugan had died on Jan 20 at the Taipan police station in Subang Jaya, five days after he was arrested in connection with the theft of luxury cars.
Meanwhile, Surendran said the second post-mortem conducted by Dr Prashant N Samberkar from the UniversitI Malaya Medical Centre is not just an investigation into the death of an individual.
“This is a damning indictment on the Malaysian police force. I hope the police will hang their heads in shame, institute thorough reforms and stop placing obstacles in the implementation of the Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission (IPCMC),” he stressed.
Report to be submitted to AG tomorrow
Teluk Intan DAP parliamentarian M Manogaran, who was also present at the press conference, said he and other Pakatan Rakyat leaders will submit the post-mortem report to the Attorney-General’s Chambers in Putrajaya tomorrow.
“The AG (Abdul Gani Patail) is duty-bound to act on this report and what Malaysians, in particular Kugan’s family, want is that whoever is responsible for his death be brought to court and answer charges for murder,” he said.
According to Kapar MP S Manickavasagam, from the year 2000 to 2008, there have been more than 80 cases of reported deaths in police custody but nothing has been done to address this.
He also claimed that more than seven police officers are involved in Kugan’s case.
Another DAP leader present, Puchong MP Gobind Singh Deo said the report should give the AG sufficient evidence to act swiftly on the matter.
He also said this incident shows the importance of having an independent post-mortem report done for custodial death cases.
The case was initially classified as sudden death but following the emergence of a video clip which revealed severe lacerations on the deceased’s body and sparked off public outrage, the AG reclassified the case as murder.
Other leaders present at the press conference were PAS Kota Raja MP Dr Siti Maria Mahmud, PKR secretary general Salahuddin Hashim and watchdog group Police Watch director S Jayathas.
Read full autopsy report l 12 pages