High Court judge Kamardin Hashim made the statement that all future death in custody cases should be investigated by police from other districts.
He said this on July 19 at the revision on Gunasegaran a/l Rajasundram inquest at the Kuala Lumpur High Court.
Guna died in police custody on July 16, 2009, on the same day Teoh Beng Hock's body was found at the compound of the MACC building at Plaza Masalam, Shah Alam.
Subsequently, an inquest into the cause of Guna's death was held.
Magistrate Siti Shakirah Mohtarudin delivered an open verdict at the end of the inquest.
Guna's sister, Ganga Gowri, then made an application to the High Court for a judicial review on the findings of the coroner's court.
Unfortunately, Justice Kamardin Hashim affirmed the findings of the inquest.
The deceased's family intends to file an appeal against the High Court decision.
The High Court judge concurred with the coroner's court findings that the cause of Guna's death was due to beatings by the police and a drug overdose.
However, the judge added that investigations conducted by the same district police lacked independence and transparency.
The judge also suggested that investigations should be conducted by police from a different district to ensure an independent and unbiased investigation.
Suaram supports the statement made by the judge on the need for independence and transparency in regard to investigations.
However, our concern is the concept of "police investigating the police".
Will this win the trust of the public that the investigations will not be biased?
An independent body is needed to investigate the police to ensure the credibility of the outcome.
Again, we reiterate the urgent need for an Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission (IPCMC) as it provides an independent external mechanism to investigate misconduct of the police and bring justice to the victims' families.
R THEVARAJAN is the Right to Justice coordinator for Suaram.