Monday, May 16, 2022

Special unit to probe deaths in police custody

Such cases will no longer be investigated by the IO at the district police headquarters or the lock-up where the incident was reported.

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Starting this year, all cases of deaths in police custody will be investigated by the Criminal Investigation Unit on Deaths in Custody under the Bukit Aman Integrity and Standard Compliance Department, says Deputy Home Minister Ismail Mohamed Said.

He said such cases would no longer be investigated by the investigating officer at the district police headquarters or the lock-up where the incident was reported.

“This is to ensure that investigations are conducted transparently. We will not compromise with any form of misconduct or violation of laws.

“The cases will be investigated by taking into account the criminal and disciplinary aspects,” he said during the question-and-answer session at Dewan Negara today.

He was responding to a question from senator Bobbey Suan on the preventive measures taken by the home ministry to address the occurrence of deaths in custody.

Ismail said 17 deaths in custody were reported from January to December last year, with Selangor recording the highest number of deaths at seven cases, followed by Pahang (six), Johor (two) and one case each in Kedah and Perak.

“From January to December 2020, 16 deaths in police custody were recorded, in Pahang (nine), Terengganu (two) and Perlis, Perak, Melaka, Johor and Sabah (one each).

“A total of 113 deaths were recorded at immigration detention depots from January 2020 to June 2021, while 27 deaths due to Covid-19 were reported up till March 15,” he said.

Ismail said 12 people died in prisons last year: seven inmates at Kluang Prison, Johor and one each at Sungai Udang Prison, Melaka; Simpang Renggam Prison, Johor; Bentong Prison, Pahang; Kajang Women’s Prison, Selangor; and Kuala Kangsar Satellite Prison, Perak.

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