KUALA LUMPUR: The High Court of Kuala Lumpur today dismissed a civil suit filed by the late R Gunasegaran’s sister, against several police officers and the Malaysian government for his wrongful death on the evening of July 16, 2009 at the Sentul police station.
Based on a written judgment by Judge Yeoh Wee Siam, the court found the defendants not liable based on the balance of probabilities in view of the case circumstances, the defendants are also not entitled to any costs.
“Based on the grounds of judgment the court is satisfied, on a balance of probabilities, that the defendants are not liable, therefore the plaintiff is not entitled to the damages claimed,”
“The court does not think that the defendants are entitled to any costs and therefore there is no Order as to costs,” Yeoh said.
Meanwhile the family’s lawyer M Visavanathan told reporters after the verdict that he was disappointed with court’s ruling and might consider to make an appeal against the decision.
“I am disappointed with the decision but I respect it as they have made its finding. We can apply for an appeal but a discussion with the family is needed before I can comment further,” he said.
Visavanathan then questioned the authority on why there has been no action taken against the police officers involved during the alleged incident by adding that death in custody should have not happened in a developed country like Malaysia.
“Until today no action is being taken against the officers (even) when we have witnesses coming forward telling the court that they saw them (the police officers) beating Gunasegaran,”
“How can you call yourself a civilized nation when death in custody is still happening. Death in custody should have not occurred in this country,”
“People should feel safe going to a police station,” he shrugged.
On July 16, 2009, at about 3 pm, a team of police officers from the Sentul district police station carried out an anti drug operation in the Sentul Manis area.
Five persons including the deceased were arrested and brought back to the Sentul police station after being caught for allegedly being involved in dangerous drug activities.
The late Gunasegaran was required to undergo a urine test and documentation process but died while he was in the police station lockup .
According to the first autopsy report conducted by Hospital Kuala Lumpur stated Gunasegaran’s cause of death as a ‘Drug Related Death’.
Dissatisfied with the first post mortem report, a second post mortem was conducted by the University Malaya Medical Centre and their conclusion on the cause of death was documented as ‘Is consistent with the findings of the first post mortem’.