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Magistrate: I instructed Balamurugan to be sent to hospital immediately
Published on: Friday, May 19, 2017

Putra Jaya: The Magistrate who rejected the remand application for S. Balamurugan, who died in police custody on Feb 8, had instructed that the detainee be taken to the hospital immediately.

Magistrate Nik Nur Amalina Mat Zaidan from the Klang magistrate's court said she had told officer Muhammad Nabil Abd Manaf, who submitted the remand application, to take Balamurugan, 44, to the hospital upon seeing his condition.

"I couldn't see his body, but I saw his face. It was swollen and his eyes were closed. When I called his name, he did not respond.

"He looked very weak and I saw the lawyer giving him water. I also allowed him to sit during the proceeding as he could not stand," she said during a public hearing by the Enforcement Agency Integrity Commission (EAIC) on Thursday.

She added that upon being told by lawyer Gerard Lazarus that Balamurugan and the three other detainees with him were beaten, she had asked Muhammad Nabil if it was true.

"I asked him, was Balamurugan beaten? I was not given an answer by Nabil, so I allowed remand for the other three and rejected the remand for Balamurugan. "I also explained that he appeared in bad health and needed medical attention. "I then asked Nabil to ensure Balamurugan was sent to the hospital immediately," she said.

Asked whether she had written down the instruction for Balamurugan to be sent to the hospital, Nik Nur Amalina said she had not.

"But I had instructed Nabil to take him to the hospital and he said, 'Baik, Puan' (Yes, ma'am).

"If it comes from me, it's a court order and they should obey," she added.

Asked whether detainees, whose remands were rejected, should be released immediately, Nik Nur Amalina said yes, but added that it would depend if the police had unfinished paperwork.

Lazarus had earlier told the hearing that though it was Standard Operating Procedure to bring the detainees to court in plain clothing for their first remand, the police never obeyed.

"They will bring them in lockup clothes and make that as an excuse to bring the detainees back to the lockup.

"They always do it, Yang Arif. I don't know why," he said to hearing chairman Datuk Yaacob Md Sam.

Balamurugan, who was arrested on Feb 6, died at the North Klang police headquarters on Feb 8.

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