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Thursday, July 29, 2021

Penang police dismiss claim that Covid-19 patient brought to court

 


Penang police have dismissed an NGO’s allegations that a detainee had been brought to court despite being infected with Covid-19.

“We have made checks with district police chiefs and found no such cases have occurred in Penang,” a spokesperson for the Penang Police Contingent told Malaysiakini today.

Yesterday, the group Eliminating Deaths & Abuse in Custody Together (Edict) claimed that the police had insisted on bringing a detainee to court, citing information purportedly provided by the court staff and lawyers.

This is despite the detainee having tested positive for Covid-19 and carrying a letter from the Health Ministry that confirms this, the group said.

This prompted the court to be ordered shut immediately once his lawyer informed the magistrate of his client’s condition.

The incident supposedly took place at the Georgetown Magistrates’ Court on July 12.

“According to the lawyer, the detainee was also brought to other courts prior to that day, as well as lockups and police stations.

“Edict is of the view that the police’s actions hamper efforts to combat the spread of Covid-19 in our country especially among detainees and those working in court including judges, lawyers, and court staff.

“This also endangers the lives of police personnel and fellow lockup detainees,” it said, stressing that such patients should be receiving treatment or quarantined at hospitals.

Edict claimed that many lawyers have already succumbed to Covid-19 infections of unknown origin and said bringing Covid-19 patients to court would only make matters worse.

It urged Chief Justice Tengku Maimun Tuan Mat to issue circulars and procedures to ensure confirmed Covid-19 patients would not be brought to court.

It also demanded that Inspector-General of Police Acryl Sani Abdullah Sani take action against the police officer who supposedly brought the patient to court. - Mkini

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