PUTRAJAYA: A police officer from the Shah Alam Centralised lockup saw S. Balamurugan trembling violently but didn't do anything about it, the Enforcement Agency Integrity Commission (EAIC) inquiry heard today.
Corporal Muszanizam Mustaffa, Shah Alam Centralised lockup supervisor said that Balamurugan arrived there at 3:30am on Feb 7 from Klang Utara station and was walking slowly and was trembling.
Balamurugan was picked up by the police together with K. Tamilarasan and Ang Tian Kok at 6:30pm on Feb 6 and was taken to Bandar Baru Klang police station. Later that night at 10:45pm they were taken to Klang Utara station.
At 3.15am Feb 7, they were taken to Shah Alam Centralised Lockup.
Muszanizam said that he did find the trembling odd and asked Balamurugan if he was alright, but Balamurugan did not answer him.
"His 'casemate' told me that it was due to alcohol addiction and I believed it because he stank of alcohol," Muszanizam told the inquiry referring to Tamilarasan and juvenile Ang who was picked up for the same case.
Bar Council's lawyer Sivaraj Retinasekharan asked him for the exact words used and if it was in Bahasa Malaysia.
"Dia ketagihan arak (He is addicted to alcohol)," Muszanizam answered.
Sivaraj pointed out that this was not true as those arrested with Balamurugan cannot speak Bahasa Malaysia and needed a translators during the hearing.
Muszanizam said it could be the other detainees who were brought in together who told him that.
Then it was pointed out to him that in his statement made on Feb 15 he had told that a police escort had told him that Balamurugan was trembling due to alcohol withdrawal.
"I can't remember. The escort said it also," Muszanizam replied.
While Muszanizam remembers that Balamurugan reeked of alcohol, Lance Corporal Mohd Taufik Awang and Corporal Ridhwan Mohammad who had driven the accused from Bandar Baru Klang police station to Klang Utara earlier said there was no alcohol stench on them.
Balamurugan and the rest were taken to Klang Magistrate Court where the remand application was denied as Balamurugan seemed to be weak and needed medical attention.
Instead of taking him to seek treatment, Balamurugan was taken back to Klang Utara station where he was found unconscious at 11:30pm Feb 7.
At 12:15am, the coroner certified Balamurugan to be dead in police custody approximately 30 hours from the time he was arrested.
The EAIC hearing will continue again July 10. The hearing has already heard 34 witnessed out of the 55 that will be called.
Resource : The Sun daily