KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 12 — A High Court here today acquitted Inspector S. Hare Krishnan and three other police officers for the death of N. Dharmendran in custody.
According to Justice Kamardin Hashim, the prosecution failed to provide a motive for the four, and only provided circumstantial evidence to back its case.
“The court is not ready to prosecute the defendants. Therefore, all defendants are now freed,” the judge said, to jubilant claps from the room.
The judge also said that Dharmendran’s forensic report showed that the injuries which caused his death were inflicted around three to four days before he died, and therefore inconsistent with the prosecution’s arguments.
Hare, 40, was jointly charged for murder with Sgt Jaffri Jaafar, 44; Cpl Mohd Nahar Abd Rahman, 45; and Cpl Haswadi Zamri Shaari, 32.
They allegedly committed the offence at the Serious Crimes Division (D9) interrogation room on Level 7 of the Kuala Lumpur police headquarters in Jalan Hang Tuah, between 12.20pm and 2.50pm on May 21, 2013.
The decision today was met with celebration by the police officers’ friends and families who hugged each other and lined up to congratulate the four.
Dharmendran, 31, was detained on May 21 for the attempted murder of two people in Cheras.
Dharmendran complained of chest pains while he was locked up and collapsed at around 4.25pm on May 21. He was however pronounced dead on arrival after being immediately sent to the Hospital Kuala Lumpur.
Dr Siew Sheue Feng from Hospital Kuala Lumpur’s Department of Forensic Medicine stated that Dharmendran’s post-mortem revealed that he had died from various injuries caused by blunt objects.
However, Kuala Lumpur Criminal Investigation Department chief Senior Asst Comm Datuk Ku Chin Wah claimed Dharmendran died due to “breathing difficulties”.
Dharmendran’s death was one of the three deaths in custody in less than two weeks in May last year, prompting calls for the establishment of the Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission.