Lawyer urges AG to not appeal High Court decision that cops caused death of ex-welder

Radzi Razak
Lawyer M. Visvanathan speaks during the press conference in Petaling Jaya December 23,2019. ― Picture by Ahmad Zamzahuri

PETALING JAYA, Dec 23 — Lawyer for the family of Syed Mohd Azlan Syed Mohamed Nur who died in police custody five years ago urged the Attorney General Tan Sri Tommy Thomas not to appeal the decision by Johor Baru (JB) High Court that found police liable for causing the injuries that ultimately led to his death.

Lawyer M. Visvanathan said the ruling by High Court Judge Datuk See Mee Chun on December 19 that also saw compensation and damages awarded to the family must be upheld by Thomas in the principle of justice that he swore to protect.

“We want Tan Sri Tommy Thomas to guarantee that the JB court decision would not be appealed (by the AGC) to reflect justice,” he told a press conference organised by a non-governmental organisation — Eliminating Deaths and Abuse in Custody (EDICT) today.

On December 19, Syed Azlan’s family was granted RM448,000 in compensation and damages after his family initiated a civil proceeding in 2015 against three policemen and 11 others, including the Inspector-General of police and the government.

The money covers their court costs, dependency claims, malfeasance in public office, exemplary, bereavement, funeral and special damages.

Three policemen ― Weddrin Mojingkin, Joshua Perait and Muhammad Bunyamin — were charged under Section 304(b) of the Penal Code with culpable homicide not amounting to murder, which is punishable with jail up to 30 years and a fine.

Meanwhile, Syed Azlan’s father, Syed Mohamed Nur who was present today said: “As a father, I am very sad because a son that I cared for almost 30 years died and they (police) did not even tell us about it.

“I just hope that this thing would not happen again. I have to accept it even if I am sad but I asked for this not to happen to other families,” he told the press conference in tears.

Syed Azlan, a 25-year-old welder, was arrested in the early hours of November 3, 2014 on suspicion of rioting and possession of a weapon two weeks earlier.

He was taken to the police station lock-up in Sungai Rengit, Johor and found unconscious five hours later during a transfer to the Kota Tinggi district police headquarters. He was sent to the Bandar Penawar health clinic where he was pronounced dead.

In 2018, the Enforcement Agency Integrity Commission (EAIC) said police personnel had beaten Syed Mohd Azlan while in custody, adding that it found 61 wounds on his body that were consistent with defensive injuries.

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