PUTRAJAYA: A police assistant investigating officer admitted that it did not cross his mind to take detainee S Balamurugan to hospital despite being ordered to do so by the magistrate, a public hearing was told today.
Muhammad Nabil Abd Manaf said magistrate Nik Nur Amalina Mat Zaidan had instructed him to take Balamurugan to hospital as he looked unwell.
“The magistrate told me to take him to hospital verbally. But I just told my IO (investigating officer Inspector Husri) that Balamurugan’s remand was rejected. I thought his family would take him to hospital from the (police) station,” he said.
Nabil added that it had not crossed his mind to inform anyone of the court’s instruction.
Neither did he write about the court’s instruction in the police’s WhatsApp group to inform his superiors about the matter.
Nabil, 26, was speaking at the public hearing conducted by the Enforcement Agency Integrity Commission (EAIC) to determine the death of 44-year-old Balamurugan.
The incident he related occurred at the Shah Alam Magistrate’s Court on Feb 7 at about 10.30am. The remand application took five to 10 minutes.
Nabil added that he went to the Klang Utara district police headquarters at 3pm the same day and saw that Balamurugan was in the lock-up. He did not ask his superiors if Balamurugan had been taken to hospital.
“I saw him in the lock-up leaning (against a wall),” he said.
Balamurugan was arrested at Jalan Batu Belah in Klang on Feb 6 at about 6.30pm and taken to the Bandar Baru Klang police station before being transferred to the Klang Utara district police headquarters at about 11pm.
At 10am the next day, Balamurugan was taken to the Shah Alam court and then returned to the Klang Utara district police headquarters after his remand was rejected. He died there at about midnight.
In relating the events on Feb 6, Nabil said Husri sent him a phone message to take four detainees for a remand hearing at the Shah Alam court the next day.
On Feb 7, Nabil said, he went straight to the Shah Alam court and Balamurugan was walking “okay” and later sat down with his head tilted to one side.
“When his name was called by the magistrate, he was aware but seemed weak. His eyes were swollen, but he seemed OK. Maybe (he was) acting. Everyone has their own style,” Nabil added.
Asked by Bar Council lawyer Sivaraj Retinasekharan, who was present at the hearing, whether Nabil had met Balamurugan before, Nabil said he had not.
Nabil said he saw Balamurugan for the last time when he returned to the Klang Utara district police headquarters just before midnight on Feb 7.
“I was upstairs. I heard some noises and came down. I heard the officers saying Balamurugan was not moving,” he said.
The four-day hearing ended today. A second session will be held on June 5.