KUALA LUMPUR: The widow of N. Dharmendran, 34, who died six years ago in police detention, was awarded RM440,200 in damages by the High Court today in her suit against the Royal Malaysian Police and the Government of Malaysia.
In his decision, High Court judge Datuk Ahmad Zaidi Ibrahim ordered all 11 defendants in the case to make the payment.
The RM440,200 represents the total amount of damages awarded to plaintiff Marry Mariay Susay, 32, for various categories of loss sustained - this includes pain and suffering, misfeasance committed by public officers, loss of income and funeral expenses.
The first four defendants comprise Inspector S. Hare Krishnan, Sgt Jaffri Jaffar, Cpl Mohd Nahar Abd Rahman and Cpl Mohd Haswadi Zamri Shaari.
The remaining defendants are the Inspector-General of Police, former Kuala Lumpur Criminal Investigation Department (CID) chief Datuk Ku Chin Wah, four other highest ranking police officers at the time comprising Datuk Seri Mohmad Salleh, A/ACP Yahya Abd Rahman, A/SAC Khairi Ahrasa and Supt Glenn Anthony Sinappiah, and the Government of Malaysia.
In his judgement, Ahmad Zaidi observed that the testimony of surgeon Dr Siew Shue Feng showed that there were 52 clear wounds on Dharmendran’s body including staple wounds at the back of his ear and internal injuries.
He added that Dr Siew had come to the conclusion that Dharmendran had died as a result of the injuries sustained.
Ahmad Zaidi also noted that the plaintiff’s sixth witness M. Balachantar, who was detained in the same lock-up where Dharmendran was being questioned by the first four defendants, had testified that apart from being assaulted, the deceased was also forced to eat ‘cili padi’.
Balachantar had also testified to hearing Dharmendran yelling out in pain and when the former entered the cell, he found that Dharmendran had moved his bowels, with Balachantar and other detainees later clearing up the excrement.
“Having studied and weighed the testimony of both parties, the court accepts the testimony of the plaintiff’s witnesses as true compared with the defendant’s witnesses. On a balance of probabilities, the court finds that all four police officers committed physical attacks and caused the death of the deceased,“ said Ahmad Zaidi.
The judge also found that the fifth to the eighth defendants had conspired to support their colleagues by mounting a defence which was untruthful.
Marry, 32, filed her suit on May 20, 2016, alleging that her husband’s death had been caused because the defendants had failed to carry out their statutory duties in accordance with the Police Act 1967.
Dharmendran had been detained on suspicion of murder, committed with the use of a firearm.
On April 28, 2016, the Enforcement Agency Integrity Commission (EAIC) found that Dharmendran’s death was caused by police brutality.
However, on Oct 24 last year, the Federal Court upheld the acquittal of Hare Krishnan, 44, Jaffri, 48, Mohd Nahar, 49, and Mohd Haswadi, 36, on a charge of murdering Dharmendran.
Meanwhile, when met by reporters, Marry’s lawyer N. Surendran said he was happy with the decision favouring his client who could not attend today’s proceedings. - Bernama