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Sunday, June 18, 2017

Lawyers demand immediate inquest on latest custodial death



Lawyers representing the family of the death-in-custody victim D Vickraman, 37, has called for an immediate inquest on his death.
They said a post-mortem had found that Vickraman had died of non-compaction cardiomyopathy - a birth defect afflicting the heart - which raises questions about the circumstances surrounding his death.
In a joint statement, the two lawyers Eric Paulsen and Melissa Sasidaran said the Vickerman's family had informed them that the deceased was a healthy man with no history of heart disease.
"We note in the past, several post-mortem outcomes have been challenged and controversial to say the least, for example in the deaths in custody of A KuganKaruna Nithi and C Sugumar.
"As this is a custodial death which would mean that an inquest is mandatory under the Criminal Procedure Code, we call upon the Coroner or the Public Prosecutor to immediately commence an inquest proceeding so as to be determine the manner in which Vickraman had died in custody and as to whether his death was accelerated by any unlawful acts or omissions by any persons.
"Further, there are serious question marks over the events leading to his death and also the cause of death, as an adult person without any known or history of life-threatening diseases should not normally collapse and die after a couple of days in detention,” said the lawyers from the group Lawyers for Liberty.
They said Vickraman had died at the Shah Alam Court Complex on June 15 when he was brought there for remand proceedings.
His family was only informed and allowed claim the body the following day after the post-mortem had been completed.
"The family were informed by the police that Vickraman had collapsed while in the court lockup but was deemed well enough to continue with the remand hearing. After the hearing, he collapsed once again.

"Medical attention was provided by medical personnel from the Shah Alam Hospital but he was later pronounced dead in hospital," the lawyers said.
They urged the police to adhere to the force's new standard operating procedures that were introduced in 2014 to minimise any danger to the life and well-being of the detainees under their care.
They said all remand detainees are presumed innocent until convicted in court and are also subject to basic human rights just as any other citizens during their detention.- Mkini

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