Pregnant woman in bid to secure freedom for husband in police custody

Hazina Bazir Ahmad Khan with lawyer S Preakas at the Jalan Duta High Court in Kuala Lumpur.

KUALA LUMPUR: A heavily pregnant woman has sought legal remedy to compel the police to produce her husband whom she says has been held in their custody for unknown reasons.

Hazina Bazir Ahmad Khan, who filed a writ of habeas corpus yesterday, wants S Madhankumar, an Indian national, to be brought to court and freed immediately.

Madhankumar, a farm worker in Simpang, Taiping, has been named as the applicant while investigating officer Inspector Shahrul Azwan, raiding officer P Murugan, the Sentul police chief and inspector-general of police have been named as respondents.

Hazina said her ordeal began when the police held Madhankumar after failing to wrap up investigations into her alleged involvement in a robbery and kidnap case at a money changer’s outlet in Kepong where she works.

Hazina, 28, was picked up by the police on July 6. She said she was questioned from 2pm to 3am the next day by Murugan and several others, and that she had been given neither food nor water.

“I told them I am due to deliver in two weeks, but they scolded me with expletives,” she said in her affidavit in support of the habeas corpus application.

She was produced before a magistrate for a remand order, where her lawyer complained to the judge of ill-treatment by the police.

The magistrate only allowed the police to detain her for a day, saying their probe showed no link to the alleged crimes.

Hazina said she was taken to the Sentul police headquarters to record her statement. There, however, the police continued to interrogate her, she claimed.

“Murugan and several others forced me to make an admission. One of them kicked a table which hurt my belly, and I started to bleed,” she said.

She claimed the police had done so as they were angry with her for complaining to the magistrate.

She said she asked for food as she was hungry, but that the police pressured her to make a confession in order to secure her freedom.

Hazina said she was produced before another magistrate on July 8 for a fresh remand, but that the police were ordered to release her immediately.

She said when her husband came to meet her at the Sentul police station that evening, he was handcuffed and she was again asked to admit to the crimes.

“He was taken to a room and beaten up until I heard him scream and cry in pain,” she said.

She said Murugan told her that her husband would be beaten and held in custody until she cooperated with the police.

She also claimed she was not allowed to meet her husband, saying she is worried for his safety.

She said she believes his detention is illegal and in violation of the Federal Constitution.

Her lawyer, S Preakas, said he had filed a certificate of urgency for the matter to be heard and for Madhankumar, 35, to be produced.

“I also call upon the inspector-general of police to ensure that his men act professionally and within the bounds of law when dealing with suspects,” he said.