Deputy inspector-general of police (DIGP) Khalid Abu Bakar has indicated there is a possibility that police detainee A Kugan's body was tampered with while it was held by the family members before the second post-mortem was performed.

NONEKhalid (left), who was formerly Selangor police chief, told the Kuala Lumpur High Court that this was why police did not comment on or accept the findings of the second post-mortem report, which was carried out in the University Malaya Medical Centre (UMMC).

"There could be something which happened to the body when it was returned to the family and during the funeral procession. We (police) did not follow the body during the procession or when it was with the family and we do not know.

"That is why the police did not comment on or announce the results of the second post-mortem," he said when testifying during the family's RM100 million suit against him, the police and government.

When lawyer Sivarasa Rasiah, who is representing Kugan’s family, pointed out that there were already 22 injuries listed by the forensic specialist in the first post-mortem, Khalid agreed that was the finding.
“However, we need to compare the results of the first post-mortem and the second. For me, we rely on the first report where the cause of death is stated as fluid in the lungs,” he said.

He agreed, when Sivarasa put it to him that this was the first time he had said something could have been done to Kugan's body when it was kept by the family.

This led to judge VT Singham asking Khalid: “You suspected something amiss, but you did not lodge a police report or investigate further?

"You know it should be reported or investigated further, with due respect."

However, Khalid did not respond to this.
Khalid also revealed that Kugan may have also received the marks (injuries) as a result of the suspect putting up a struggle during the arrest. He said he was informed of this by his subordinates, but was unsure whether Kugan was brought to a hospital.

During the second post-mortem, the UMMC found 45 injuries on Kugan's body and listed the failure of the vital organs as a result of the beatings inflicted as the cause of death.
It was reported that Dr Abdul Karim Tajuddin, the pathologist who prepared the first post-mortem report, had been reprimanded by the Malaysian Medical Council for failing to conduct a proper examination and prepare an honest report in the case.
However, when asked by Sivarasa whether he knew action was taken against Abdul Karim, the deputy IGP said he did not know.

Police objected to second post-mortem

Khalid also told the court that the police objected to the second post-mortem and this was relayed to him by then-Subang Jaya OCPD Zainal Rashid.

“Zainal said that as the body had been taken by the family and the first post-mortem report was already done there should not be a second post mortem done. That was the stand taken and I supported the move,” he said when replying Sivarasa.

“Furthermore, Zainal was waiting for further instructions from the public prosecutors on what was to be done but our stand was clear that we did not want the second post-mortem.”

He, however, agreed that police later relented when the attorney-general allowed for the second post-mortem to be performed. This followed pressure from Kugan’s family, who held a protest at Bukit Aman and submitted a letter demanding a second post-mortem.

Earlier, Khalid testified that Zainal had shown him photos of Kugan which it was claimed were done during the “first post-mortem” when the body was fully attired, where he described blood and foam streaming from the victim’s mouth.

However, in actuality the first post-mortem was only performed the next day, as Kugan died on the morning of Jan 20, 2009 at the Taipan police station.
The funeral procession was held on Jan 22, which the family stopped while the body was being taken to the Puchong cemetery, and that was when the body was taken to the UMMC.

UMMC agreed to keep the body until a decision was made on another post-mortem. The second post-mortem was only performed after four days, following the police and AG giving the go-ahead.

Case reclassified under Section 330

To questions from Sivarasa, the DIGP also agreed that initially the attorney-general Abdul Gani Patail had on Jan 23, instructed that the case be classified under Section 302 of the Penal Code after the AG was shown pictures of the deceased.

“However, after meeting him at the AG’s Chambers, we had agreed to reclassify the case under Section 330 (causing hurt to extort a confession)."

When asked by Justice Singham again, Khalid agreed that initially the AG asked that investigations be opened under Section 302 for murder.

However, he reiterated that upon further negotiations with the prosecutors "we agreed to reclassify the case".

Khalid also told the court that he tried to push for an inquest to be done as this is a case of sudden death while in police custody.

However, there was no further follow-up on the matter, including from the family members, and he then decided to leave the matter at that.