A preliminary investigation by the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) into the custodial death of S. Bala Murugan has found that officers at the North Klang police headquarters showed a disregard for due process and lockup rules, reported Malay Mail Online.
The news portal reported that Suhakam chairman Razali Ismail, in a statement, said that it noted that the deceased was detained in a place which was not a gazetted place of lock up, and an application for extension of remand to the Magistrate by the police was rejected.
“Suhakam’s preliminary observations indicate due process violations, and disregard for lock up rules,” he said in a statement.
Razali also said Bala remained in custody “even after the magistrate ordered for his immediate release and as such died while under police care”.
A four-man team headed by Commissioner Mah Weng Kwai visited the site yesterday where the 44-year-old detainee had died last week under questionable circumstances.
Razali also said police have denied any wrongdoing while the post-mortem report in unavailable as yet.
It was reported that the self-employed Bala died at the North Klang police headquarters last Wednesday.
This was two days after his arrest with two other people for alleged robbery.
The portal also quoted Razali as saying that Suhakam’s report on Deaths in Police Custody in 2016 had “identified failures on the part of the police to strictly comply with existing lockup and standard operating procedures to minimise cases of custodial deaths”.
He said policies to prevent and hold accountable police use of torture and ill treatmen were inadequate adding that authorities had delayed lockup reforms.
This caused such violations to continue with impunity, he said.