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Thursday, April 28, 2016

EAIC: Cops tortured Dharmendran by stapling ears moments before death

PUTRAJAYA - Staple wounds found on the ears of N. Dharmendran prove that he was tortured by police officers while being interrogated, the Enforcement Agency Integrity Commission (EAIC) said today.

EAIC chairman Datuk Yaacob Md Sam also rubbished the police's claim that the staples had ended up on Dharmendran’s ears in the process of wrapping up and transferring his body after he died.

"This is a totally illogical, unreasonable explanation," Yaacob said of the police's theory of how the victim's ears had staples embedded in them during a press conference at the EAIC headquarters today.

Yaacob explained that the pathologist report found that both his right and left ears which were stapled had blood stains on them, making it impossible for it to have occurred after Dharmendran's death.

"This shows that his ears were stapled when he was alive. It rules out that the staples were made after his death or at the mortuary," he said.

While conceding that the stapling of the victim's ears was not the cause of death, Yaacob said that the injury on top of the other 52 bruises from blunt force trauma inflicted by the police eventually led to his death.

"A total of 52 bruises on the deceased caused by a blunt force object (blunt force trauma) causing acute massive loss of blood into the tissues causing hypovolemic shock," he said, referencing the pathologist report from the Hospital Kuala Lumpur's Forensic Department.

Yaacob also said that the police officers’ procrastination in interrogating the victim, having only begun the process two days before the week-long remand was set to expire, also forced them to use physical abuse.

"The commission is of the view that with the short period of remand left (in this case the deceased's remand was due to expire in two days time) has placed the Project Team in the 'last ditch' situation in obtaining information from the deceased, resulted to the use of force on the deceased," he said, explaining that the police had Dharmendran detained from May 13 until the day of his death on May 21, but only began interrogating him on May 19.

He added two staplers were also seized as evidence, one of which contained a male DNA.

No blood samples were taken from any of the police officers to match the one found on the stapler.

"The lack of blood sample has caused the DNA comparison analysis unable to be done in order to ascertain the identity of 'Male 1' found on the stapler by an expert from the Malaysian Chemistry Department to resolve the issue whether the Male 1 identity belongs to any D9 personnel," he said.

Dharmendran, 31, was detained on May 21 for the attempted murder of two people in Cheras.

Dharmendran complained of chest pains while he was locked up and collapsed at around 4.25pm on May 21. He was pronounced dead on arrival after being immediately sent to the Hospital Kuala Lumpur.

The Kuala Lumpur High Court initially acquitted the four police officers charged with the murder of Dharmendran but the Court of Appeal later ordered the four men to enter their defence this May.

Dharmendran’s death was one of the three deaths in custody in less than two weeks in May last year, prompting calls for the establishment of the Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission.

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