Cop gets 6 years’ jail for hurting Kugan

Navindran was allowed a stay of execution pending appeal

(The Malaysian Insider) – A constable was found guilty on two counts of causing hurt to car thief suspect A. Kugan, who died in police custody three years ago.

Shah Alam Sessions Court judge Aslam Zainuddin sentenced V. Navindran to three years’ jail on each count, to be served concurrently.

“The defence failed to raise a reasonable doubt in this case,” Aslam was reported as saying by The Star newspaper today.

Navindran was accused of two alternative counts of causing hurt to Kugan, 23, at the interrogation room of the Taipan police station in USJ, Subang Jaya, at 7am and 4pm on January 16, 2009.

He was initially acquitted of the charges but the High Court later overturned the acquittal and ordered him to enter his defence.

Aslam said he found the defence a bare denial and ruled out Navindran’s alibi. 

The constable had claimed he was not in the interrogation room during the incident. 

The judge allowed a stay of execution pending Navindran’s appeal but raised bail to RM20,000 in two sureties.

Over 1,500 custodial deaths took place in Malaysia between 2003 and 2007, as estimated by the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention. 

Few are ever pinned on authorities under whose watch the fatalities took place.

The spotlight on custodial deaths grew more acute following Kugan’s death. 

Kugan’s death was initially classified as sudden death and attributed to water in his lungs according to an initial post-mortem report.

However, the case was reclassified as murder following a public outcry.

Eleven rank and file policemen were transferred to desk duty at the Selangor police headquarters but only one person — Navindran — was charged over the incident.