Death in custody No.1805: Gunasegaran’s inquest underway

Posted on December 16, 2009

8


Remember Gunasegaran?

He died in police custody several hours on the same day that Teoh Beng Hock’s body was found at the MACC headquarters in Shah Alam.

On 28th July, I had, in a post here, asked if any of you cared to help the family meet the costs of a second post mortem.

Many of you did.

In all, RM10,500 was collected to meet the costs of the second post mortem, although it was anticipated that only around RM3,000 was required.

On 18th August, the Kuala Lumpur High Court ordered that a second post mortem be performed and that an inquest be held to inquire into the cause of death. You can read about the court proceedings HERE.

The second post mortem was performed on 20th August.

The inquest, as ordered by the High Court, commenced on 14th December at the Kuala Lumpur Magistrates Court and resumes this morning

Counsel who has appeared for the family in the earlier proceedings in the High Court,

Counsel Visvanathan

Visvanathan, is representing the family at the inquest.

I have this report for you, prepared by a friend who sat in on the proceedings.

________________________________________________________

At the onset of the hearing on 14th December, Visvanathan  informed the court that he had only received the arrest report that very morning and as he needed time to study its contents, he requested an adjournment which was duly granted.

On 15th December, two police photographers testified.

The first photographer said in evidence that he was asked to go to the forensics department of the Kuala Lumpur Hospital to take postmortem photos. In all, he took 9 shots. He admitted that none of the shots he took  showed the chest area or details of other parts of the body of the deceased such as the hands, legs or face before the first post mortem.

The second police photographer confirmed that, in all, he took 17 photographs of the body of the deceased at the time of the second post mortem at Universiti Hospital. Again none of the 17 photographs  showed details of the external anatomy before the dissection, specifically the chest and the head.

The arresting officer was supposed to be in court to render his testimony. He was not. The DPP assigned to assist the coroner wanted to call other witnesses.

Visvanathan objected, on the grounds that this was a crucial witness whose testimony should be taken before other witnesses were called. Visvanathan moved the court to issue a warrant of arrest to secure the attendance of this witness. The warrant was issued.

__________________________________________

I will post the report of today’s proceedings the soonest I am in receipt of the same.

Now, a slight digression from the inquest, although on a matter not altogether unrelated.

Firstly, a little good news.

We did not have to pay for the second post mortem. It turns out that when the body was taken to UH, the police registered the body for the post mortem. So, no bill.

RM3,000 saved.

In an earlier post, I had sought permission from those who had sent in contributions to help with the funeral expenses as well as the expenses of Gunasegaran’s sister who had been travelling to KL from her home in Rawang to liaise with the lawyers.

Many e-mailed me their consent.

Having conferred with the activists who were helping the family deal with Guna’s death, a sum of RM2,000 was passed on to cover the funeral costs and to help defray the sister’s expenses.

There is a balance sum of RM8,500.

In that same post just alluded to above, I had asked for the consent of those who had sent in contributions, to utilise the balance sum for an initiative that is tentatively called Project 1805.

I will, with your kind support, very shortly try to get Project 1805 off the ground.  If I cannot, I will endeavour to return the balance to the contributers, on a pro rata basis.

Posted in: Bangsa Malaysia