KUALA LUMPUR: A police witness told the inquest investigating the death of Nigerian national Orhions Ewansiha Thomas that the student was given medicine by the immigration department while in detention.
Kamarulzaman Jamuie, a police photographer attached to the Cheras district headquarters, said he was informed of the matter when he went to the Bukit Jalil detention centre to take photographs on the instructions of investigating officer Noorsuhana Shamsudin.
“I cannot recall who was the immigration personnel’s name who told me about this. But the person was a medical officer,” he said on the first day of the inquest.
Asked by lawyer Rajesh Nagarajan on whether there were close-up photos of the medicine, Kamarulzaman said no.
Rajesh is holding a watching brief for Thomas’ family.
“The IO (Noorsuhana) only asked to take pictures of the place where medicines were kept,” Kamarulzaman said.
Another witness, Wan Mohamad Fuad Wan Muda, also from the Cheras police district headquarters, told the inquest that he received a report of Thomas’ death on July 9, 2019, at 12.42am.
He said that the person who lodged the report identified herself as “Ashikin” and informed the police that a 34-year-old man was unresponsive at the Bukit Jalil immigration detention centre.
“Ashikin also said that a medical assistant at the scene confirmed that the man had died. However, she did not say anything about the cause of death,” he said.
Fuad said he subsequently asked three officers on duty to go to the detention centre as Ashikin had said that the immigration department needed police assistance.
The Coroner’s Court also heard testimony from a third witness, Mohd Nur Izwan Semedi, who said that he took photographs during Thomas’ post-mortem at Hospital Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia’s (HUKM) pathology department.
He said that he took a total of 54 photographs but conducting officer Nurliyana Mohd Jafri pointed out that only 51 photos were tendered to the court.
Izwan said that he might have made a mistake and left out three other images.
Coroner Mahyon Talib then chided Izwan on the quality of the pictures and said they looked “dull”.
“I have heard a lot of inquest proceedings and normally post-mortem pictures are very clear,” she said.
The inquest continues on Jan 7.
Thomas’ family previously filed an application for an inquest into his death, as they suspected that he could have been assaulted and refused medication while in detention.
Thomas, who was a PhD student at the Limkokwing University, was arrested with 19 others during a raid in an apartment in Kepong.