In a sudden turn of events, Thai pathologist Dr Pornthip Rojanasunand today declined the invitation by PKR lawyers to perform a second autopsy on C. Sugumaran, the security guard who recently died allegedly due to police brutality.
According to lawyer N. Surendran, the famed director of Thailand’s Central Institute of Forensic Science emailed him earlier today to say that she was “unable to do the autopsy for personal reasons”.
Dr Pornthip’s sudden about-turn came just shortly after PKR lawyers emailed a press statement to media organisations here, saying the Serdang Hospital has finally agreed to the autopsy and Dr Pornthip’s team is due to arrive in Malaysia on February 20.
“But now, Sugumaran’s family will have to look for other alternatives,” Surendran said.
In his earlier joint media statement with fellow PKR lawyer Latheefa Koya, the duo had said that due to public pressure, the Serdang Hospital had agreed to the second autopsy and would even ensure all necessary equipment and facilities would be available.
Earlier, the health authorities had agreed to the second autopsy, despite insisting earlier that there must be a written permission from the police or a court order.
When contacted, the police had then declined to say if they would give permission.
Dr Pornthip is the same forensic pathologist who observed Teoh Beng Hock’s second post-mortem and testified at a royal inquiry that foul play was likely involved in the DAP aide’s mysterious death at the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission’s Selangor headquarters in 2009.
She is well known in Thailand for clashing with the authorities, especially for alleging police killings during then-Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra’s anti-drug campaign in 2003.
Surendran had earlier confirmed that Dr Pornthip had agreed to perform a second post-mortem on Sugumaran.
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak has ordered a forensic report on Sugumaran after the latter’s death was raised at a Cabinet meeting.
Health Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai was directed to oversee the forensic report after MIC president Datuk Seri G. Palanivel, who is also a minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, had raised the security guard’s death during the Cabinet meeting. Several witnesses who saw Sugumaran collapse on a street near his home in Batu 12, Hulu Langat on January 23 have accused the policemen who arrested him of beating up the man, together with the help of a mob, after he was handcuffed.
The police have denied the allegations, pointing out that the initial post-mortem by Serdang Hospital showed that Sugumaran had died of a heart attack.
Sugumaran’s death joins a list of other alleged police killings like the custodial deaths of Chang Chin Te earlier this year as well as A. Kugan and R. Gunasegaran in 2009; the deadly police shooting of 14-year-old schoolboy Aminulrasyid Amzah in 2010; and various other fatal police shootings in the past two years.
A United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention 2010 visit to Malaysian prisons and detention centres reported in 2011 that between 2003 and 2007, “over 1,500 people died while being held by authorities.”
The Bar Council, civil society groups and several politicians from both sides of the divide have called for an Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission (IPCMC) to reform the police force since 2006.
Former Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Musa Hassan also called for an independent body to oversee police conduct, although he preferred an alternative to the IPCMC.
she fears for her own safety, after her experience in TBH's case. She thought about it again, or it might've someone discouraged her to do it so she said no.
There are enough guys in Australia who would be more then happy to come over to assist especially in Adelaide, Perth and Sydney.
Dont take anyone from Scotland or Northern England as some of Bolehland's government pathologists went there to do a MSc in Forensic Pathology ( actually most of them were holidaying in UK and more interested in bringing back a BMW or Mercedes rather then focusing on their studies) If you bring anyone from these areas, they will pakat with their ex students and do another cover up as in TBH's case.
Vote out evil demon BN/UMNO to restore justice system and get justice done for this poor victim and family