Kugan – Death of a suspected car thief

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29 Sept 2009 – Finally, 8 months 10 days into the Kugan saga, it was reported that at least one policeman will be charged over suspected car thief Kugan Ananthan’s death while in police custody on January 20, 2009. It was also reported that the Attorney-General’s Chambers had still to decide on the charge. It would be interesting to find out who will be charged and what will be the charge. Ultimately, the final outcome of this case will be instrumental in deciding where the country is heading. Will the be a cover-up or a scrap goat who will be given a slap on the wrist to satisfy the bad publicity the police is getting. Or will this be a step forward to accountability for the actions of our police force.

What about the pathologist who did the first post mortem? Is there any investigation on how he could came to the conclusion of his findings which is so contradictory to the second post mortem report.

Pathologist Prof Dr Abdul Karim Tajuddin of the Serdang Hospital stated that he had died due to pulmonary oedema or fluid in his lungs.

Universiti Malaya Medical Centre pathologist Dr Prashant N. Samberkar declared in his post-mortem report that Kugan had suffered hemorrhaging in his trachea, chest, spleen, stomach, the back of his neck and spine, and there were also signs of hemorrhaging in his heart.  He had died of acute renal failure due to rhabdomyolysis which is translated into layman terms that he died due to the muscle cells disintegrating into his bloodstream and absorbed by the kidney which resulted in kidney failure and death. It was believed that Kugan could have been beaten up so badly that his tissues broke down, absorbed into his blood stream and caused his kidneys to fail and ultimately resulted in his death.  

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The second post-mortem done by the Universiti Malaya Medical Centre appeared to be consistent with the condition of the body which the family members found in the Serdang Hospital. The second post-mortem found that he had a total of 42 contusions and burn marks all over his body.

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 As we wait for the Attorney-General’s Chambers to take the next step, there appear to be a glimmer of hope in our system. It is now in the hands of the Home Ministry and the Attorney-General to do things right.

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