Kematian dalam tahanan: Badan kehakiman mesti lebih proaktif dalam menyiasat (Malay/English)

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We need to avoid congestion in cells and prisons - File photo: themalaymailonline

[ENGLISH VERSION BELOW] Pada 2 Jun, Eliminating Deaths and Abuse in Custody Together (Edict) dalam satu kenyataannya mendedahkan satu lagi kes kematian dalam tahanan di Lokap Jinjang. Si mati adalah seorang warganegara Nepal bernama Dhan Bahdur.

Dalam kenyataan itu, Edict mempersoalkan sama ada benar atau tidak pihak koroner Kuala Lumpur tidak melihat mayat si mati di tempat kejadian, sepertimana yang diperuntukkan dalam Kanun Prosedur Jenayah, Seksyen 330.

Edict merujuk kepada satu pekeliling arahan amalan yang berkuatkuasa 8 Mac 2019, yang dikeluarkan oleh bekas Ketua Hakim Negara, Richard Malanjum.

Dalam perenggan 7.1 pekeliling tersebut, Malanjum menjelaskan bahawa seorang koroner dikehendaki melihat mayat di tempat kejadian hanya jika pegawai penyiasat beranggapan bahawa terdapat keperluan untuknnya.

Edict terkejut dengan kenyataan itu. Kami menggesa ketua pendaftar Mahkamah Persekutuan Malaysia, Ahmad Terrirudin Mohd Salleh, untuk menjelaskan sama ada pekeliling itu masih berkuatkuasa. Kami mengambil maklum bahawa sekiranya pekeliling tersebut masih berkuatkuasa, semua koroner terikat dengan dan dikehendaki mematuhi pekeliling tersebut.

Di Malaysia, secara purata, seramai 16 orang mati di dalam tahanan polis setiap tahun (menurut laporan Parlimen oleh Menteri Dalam Negeri bertarikh 30 Mac 2017).

Mahkamah Malaysia telah berulang kali mendapati pihak polis bertanggungjawab terhadap kes-kes kematian dalam tahanan dan telah menganugerahkan pampasan dan kos bernilai jutaan ringgit sebagai “peringatan” kepada pihak polis bahawa kematian dalam tahanan tidak boleh diterima sama sekali.

Mahkamah juga telah berulang kali mendapati pihak (polis) pegawai penyiasat telah gagal untuk mengendalikan siasatan yang berkredibiliti dalam kes kematian dalam tahanan.

Berdasarkan perkara-perkara ini, adalah amat berbahaya sekiranya ketua polis negara dan kerajaan berpendapat bahawa seorang pegawai polis boleh memutuskan sama ada untuk melibatkan koroner atau tidak dalam penyiasatannya.

Berdasarkan perkara-perkara ini juga, adalah tidak wajar sama sekali ketua hakim negara bersetuju dengannya!

Kami menggesa Ketua Hakim Negara yang baharu, Tengku Maimun Tuan Mat, untuk membatalkan pekeliling yang dikeluarkan oleh Malanjun serta mengarahkan agar koroner mesti berada di tempat kejadian dimana mayat didapati mati didalam tahanan.

Kami selanjutnya ingin menggesa Ketua Polis Negara Hamid Bador untuk mengambil langkah-langkah yang perlu untuk memastikan koroner tidak dibiarkan tertinggal dalam peringkat awal penyiasatan dan memastikan agar siasatan berjalan dengan sempurna.

Kami maklum bahawa menurut satu laporan berita, pihak polis tidak menemui sebarang elemen jenayah atau kesilapan dalam kematian Bahdur. Kami ingin bertanya, bagaimana dengan salah laku, punca kematian kepada hampir semua kes kematian dalam tahanan yang dibawa ke mahkamah?

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Bukan tugas polis untuk memutuskan punca kematian dalam tahanan. Ini adalah tanggungjawab koroner seperti yang termaktub dalam Seksyen 334, Kanun Prosedur Jenayah.

English version

Custodial deaths: Judiciary must be more proactive in investigations

On 2 June, Eliminating Death and Abuse in Custody Together (Edict), in a statement, exposed another death in custody in Jinjang lock-up. The deceased is a Nepali national, Dhan Bahdur.

In the statement, Edict questioned whether it is true that the Kuala Lumpur coroner did not view the body of the deceased in-situ, as stipulated by the Criminal Procedure Code, Section 330.

Edict’s attention has been drawn to a practice directive effective 8 March 2019, issued by the then Chief Justice of Malaysia, Richard Malanjum.

In the directive, Malanjum stipulates, in Section 7.1, that the coroner needs to view the body in-situ ONLY IF the investigating officer considers it necessary.

Edict is shocked by that stipulation. We call upon the chief registrar of the Federal Court of Malaysia, Ahmad Terrirudin Mohd Salleh to advise whether that directive is still in force. We recognise that if it is, all coroners are bound to abide by it.

In Malaysia, on average, 16 persons die every year in police custody (as revealed in Parliament by the home minister on 30 March 2017).

Malaysian courts have repeatedly found the police culpable for deaths in custody and have awarded millions of ringgit in damages and costs to “send a message” to the police that deaths in custody are not acceptable.

Malaysian courts have repeatedly found that (police) investigating officers fail to conduct credible investigations of deaths in custody.

Against that background, it is dreadful that the inspector general of police and the government think that a police officer can decide whether or not to involve coroners.

Against that background, it is unconscionable that the chief justice concurs!

We call upon the current Chief Justice, Tengku Maimun Tuan Mat, to rescind Malanjun’s directive and require instead that coroner’s must inspect, in-situ, the bodies of those who die in custody.

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We further call upon Inspector General of Police Hamid Bador to take the necessary action to ensure that coroners are not locked out of the first stages of investigation and that investigations are done thoroughly.

We note that according to a news report, the police have “found no criminal element or wrongdoing” in the death of Bahdur. We ask, what about misconduct, the cause of death almost inevitably found by the courts in cases of deaths in custody?

It is not for the police to decide the cause of a death in custody. It is for coroners to decide, as stipulated in Section 334 of the Criminal Procedure Code.

3 June 2020

Edict’s earlier media statement

Satu lagi kematian dalam tahanan di lokap Jinjang

[ENGLISH VERSION BELOW] Edict difahamkan bahawa mendiang Dhan Bahdur, 26, seorang warganegara Nepal telah ditemui mati di Lokap Jinjang pada 31 Mei 2020.

Menurut sumber, Bahdur telah direman sejak 27 Mei sehingga 10 Jun 2020. Ini bermakna, beliau telah meninggal dunia setelah lima hari ditahan reman.

Menurut sumber lagi, Bahdur “dilaporkan mati pada jam 8.20 pagi” oleh seorang paramedik daripada Hospital Selayang.

Edict ingin mengingatkan polis, orang awam dan kerajaan bahawa di bawah Akta Polis, polis adalah bertanggungjawab ke atas keadaan kesihatan tahanan-tahanan.

Seksyen 334 Kanun Tatacara Jenayah (KTJ) memperuntukkan bahawa majistret/koroner hendaklah dengan segera dimaklumkan tentang sebarang kes kematian yang berlaku di dalam tahanan.

Terdapat banyak kes kematian dalam tahanan berlaku di Malaysia. Oleh itu, adalah amat penting untuk pihak koroner melihat mayat si mati di tempat kejadian sebelum mayat tersebut dipindahkan, sebagaimana yang diperuntukkan oleh seksyen 330 KTJ.

Ini adalah amat penting terutamanya apabila begitu banyak bukti salahlaku oleh para anggota yang menjaga tempat tahanan dan pegawai penyiasat telah dikemukakan dalam prosiding-prosiding inkues di hadapan koroner dan juga siasatan-siasatan oleh Suruhanjaya Hak Asasi Manusia (Suhakam) dan Suruhanjaya Integriti Agensi Penguatkuasaan (EAIC).

Namun begitu, mayat Bahdur nampaknya tidak dilihat oleh Koroner Kuala Lumpur di tempat kejadian (Lokap Jinjang). Kegagalan untuk melihat mayat tersebut di tempat kejadian adalah kononnya disebabkan oleh bimbang akan jangkitan Covid-19 – kami masih belum dapat mengesahkan perkara ini.

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Edict menggesa agar Ketua Polis Kuala Lumpur Mazlan Lazim untuk mendedahkan butiran lanjut kes ini kepada umum.

Edict turut menggesa agar ketua pendaftar Mahkamah Persekutuan, Ahmad Terrirudin Mohd Salleh memberikan nasihat sama ada benar atau tidak peruntukan mengenai keperluan koroner untuk melihat mayat di tempat kejadian menurut KTJ dalam kes kematian Bahdur tersebut tidak dipatuhi.

2 Jun 2020

English version

Another death in custody in Jinjang lock-up

Edict has learned that Dhan Bahdur, 26, a citizen of Nepal, died in the Jinjang lock-up on 31 May 2020.

According to sources, Bahdur was ordered to be remanded from 27 May to 10 June 2020. This means he died five days after he was remanded.

According to sources, Bahdur was “recorded dead at 8:20 am” by a paramedic from Selayang Hospital.

Edict reminds the police, the public and the government that under the Police Act, the police are responsible for the wellbeing of all detainees.

The Criminal Procedure Code (CPC), Section 334, requires that a magistrate or coroner be immediately notified of any death in custody.

There are numerous deaths in custody in Malaysia. Therefore, it is vital that coroners view the body of a deceased person in-situ before it is moved, as provided for in Section 330 of the CPC.

That is especially so since much evidence of misconduct by custodians and by investigation officers has emerged in many inquests conducted before coroners and in investigations conducted by bodies such as the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) and the Enforcement Agency Integrity Commission (EAIC).

Yet, it appears that Bahdur’s body was not viewed in situ by the KL coroner. The failure to view in-situ has been alleged to be due to concerns over the spread of Covid-19 – we are not able to confirm this.

Edict calls upon Kuala Lumpur police chief Mazlan Lazim to reveal details of the case to the public.

Edict calls upon the chief egistrar of the Federal Court of Malaysia, Ahmad Terrirudin Mohd Salleh, to advise whether it is true that the CPC was not complied with in respect of the coroner viewing Bahdur’s body in situ.

2 June 2020

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