Widow awarded RM490,000 in death in custody case

N Dharmendran had been detained for alleged attempted murder involving firearms.

KUALA LUMPUR: The High Court here today awarded Marry Mariay Susay, whose husband N Dharmendran died in police custody in 2013, close to half a million ringgit in damages.
The housewife had sued the police and the government in 2016 for damages over assault, battery, breach of duty, negligence, false imprisonment and conspiracy.

Dharmendran had been detained for alleged attempted murder involving firearms, and had been kept in the lock-up for 10 days.

Last year, the Federal Court affirmed the acquittal of four policemen implicated in his death.

In awarding the sum, High Court judge Ahmad Zaidi Ibrahim said that Marry had proven that police officers had assaulted her husband.

“She also proved that the assault had led to Dhamendran’s death,” he said, adding that she had also proved that there was an attempt to cover up the case.

Marry’s lawyer, N Surendran, said he was glad that Dhamendran’s widow got justice.

He said while it can never be a total consolation, “at least Dhamendran’s family have some semblance of justice, particularly in light of the fact that those charged with his murder had been acquitted”.
He described their acquittal as a “failure in justice”.

Surendran also said that the court’s verdict today was a damning judgment.

“I think the home minister and police must address this judgment and explain what they are going to do about the fact that there is something wrong with the system that allows police officers to get away with this,” he told reporters outside of court, adding that the defendants were high-ranking officers.

He said that the verdict raised serious concerns as to how the police force was run, and that of accountability.

“I hope the home minister takes note and puts in immediate remedial steps.”

In 2016, the Enforcement Agency Integrity Commission (EAIC) said police had tortured Dhamendran before his death, including having his ears stapled. - FMT, 10/12/2019


Federal Court upholds acquittal of four policemen in Dhamendran murder case

Wednesday, 24 Oct 2018 9:34 AM MYT
By Nurbaiti Hamdan

PUTRAJAYA: The four policemen implicated in the death of N. Dharmendran, who died in police custody five years ago, remain free men after the Federal Court here upheld their acquittal.

A five-man panel chaired by Chief Judge of Malaya Zaharah Ibrahim made the unanimous decision here on Wednesday (Oct 24).

The apex court was satisfied that the Court of Appeal and the High Court did not err when they acquitted the four policemen and therefore dismissed the prosecution’s final appeal.

Justices Ramly Ali, Aziah Ali, Alizatul Khair Osman Khairuddin and Rohana Yusof also sat on the panel.

This is the fourth time that the policemen – S. Hare Krishnan, Jaffri Jaffar, Mohd Nahar Abd Rahman and Mohd Haswadi Zamri Shaari – have been acquitted by the courts.

According to lawyer Datuk Baljit Singh Sidhu, who represented Mohd Nahar and Mohd Haswadi, it was the apex court’s findings that the circumstantial evidence in the case was not met and that the evidence was incomplete.

The four men were charged with murdering Dharmendran, 32, at the D9 special investigation office, level 7, Kuala Lumpur Contingent Headquarters, Jalan Hang Tuah between May 18, 2013 and 4.30pm on May 21, 2013.

In November 2014, the four were acquitted of the charge by the Kuala Lumpur High Court, which ruled that the prosecution had failed to establish the charge against them.

However, they were ordered to enter their defence in February 2016 after the Court of Appeal ruled that there was sufficient evidence to try them.

In June the same year, the four were acquitted again.

The case was then brought for appeal before the Federal Court by the prosecution.

Hare Krishnan was represented by lawyer M. Athimulan, while Jaffri was represented by lawyer Hisyam Teh Poh Teik.

According to news reports, Dhamendran was found dead in his cell while in police custody at the D9 Branch lock-up at the Kuala Lumpur Contingent Headquarters (IPK Kuala Lumpur) on May 21, 2013.

He had been arrested on May 11, 2013 on suspicion of attempted murder involving firearms and held under remand from May 12 that year until his death.

Based on the post-mortem conducted at the Kuala Lumpur General Hospital on May 22, 2013, the cause of death was determined to be from “diffused soft tissue injuries due to multiple blunt force trauma”.