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Thursday, May 30, 2013

Paul Low: No need for IPCMC, just go to EAIC

There is no need for a formation of an Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission (IPCMC) as there is already an exisiting mechanism to lodge complaints against police, said Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Paul Low.

Low said the Enforcement Agency Integrity Commission (EAIC), an independent oversight body on law enforcement agencies, also looks into complaints into misconduct by police officers.

"We already have the channels," he told reporters in Kuala Lumpur today.

In view of this, Low urged the family of death in custody victim N Dharmendran - who died on May 21 - to lodge a report with the EAIC so an independent probe can commence.
Low conceded that it is possible that the public may be confused over which agency they should complain to, thus he promised to look into setting up a unified centre to receive complaints, which will later forward complaints to the relevant agencies.

He said this will also help in cases where a complainant is "not comfortable" with reporting to the police.
Have both internal and external probe
Low also promised to raise the proposal by the Bar Council to establish a dedicated Coroners' Court with the de facto Law Minister Nancy Shukri.

"This could provide a fair (hearing) for both the police and the victim," he said.
NONEHe added that in Dharmendran's case, Home Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi has assured him of a thorough and fair probe.

Asked if this is a conflict of interest, Low said that there is value in having both an internal probe by the police and an independent one by the EAIC.

"They can compare notes after that," he said.

Dharmendran's case is cited as among the more severe custodial death cases, with staples found on the victim's body.

The post-mortem procedure revealed that he died from blunt force trauma.

His family claims he went to the police station to report a fist fight he was involved in, but police say they arrested him upon suspicion of involvement in a shooting case.

The personnel being investigated for his death have been given desk duties pending investigation.

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