Sunday February 10, 2013
Man allegedly injured during police interrogation passes away
By LEONARD PHANG
KUCHING: A suspect who was admitted to the Sarawak General Hospital following a police interrogation on Nov 3 last year, died at 2.45pm last Friday.
Kamarulzamrizal Kamarulzaman, 29, had been in a coma since his captivity and was admitted into the intensive care unit (ICU) of the hospital on Nov 4, 2012.
The funeral ceremony was held yesterday at the deceased’s house near Kampung Sourabaya Hilir. Among those who attended the ceremony was Batu Lintang assemblyman, Wong King Wei.
Wong now represents the family of the deceased in the prosecution of two police inspectors who have been charged in connection with his assault and subsequent death.
The police, according to Wong, had given an assurance that the case would be placed under Section 302 of the Penal Code following Kamarulzamrizal’s demise. Post mortem result showed that Kamarulzamrizal had pneumonia and then was brain dead.
Wong said that he often visited the ICU hoping that Kamarulzamrizal would wake up from his coma and related his experience to them, but that hope was dashed.
The case’s first trial is this Feb 13. It involves the inspectors, aged 31 and 33, from the district police headquarters.
“I hope justice would prevail,” said Wong, who suggested that closed circuit television systems should be installed in the police’s interrogation rooms to record the goings-on inside them.
He stated that police stations were supposed to be among the safest places in the country, but due to Kamarulzamrizal’s case, that was in doubt, at least for the time being.
Kamarulzamrizal’s mother, Latifah Halil, 52, who said she was upset by her son’s death, also hoped that justice would prevail.
She said that she was grateful to her friends and relatives who had voluntarily helped her in connection with the case, especially in taking care of the funeral.
Latifah said that Kamarulzamrizal used to work for a cereal company and was an obedient son.
Meanwhile state Police Commissioner Datuk DCP Acryl Sani Abdullah Sani confirmed to The Star that the case would be re-classified under Section 302 of the Penal Code before being referred to the Senior Federal Counsel for decision on the charge.
“The overall investigation into the case has been completed,” he added.
According to DCP Acryl during a press conference on Nov 6 last year, Kamarulzamrizal attacked two police inspectors at a nighspot by Jalan Abell at midnight on Nov 1.
He said the suspect even robbed one of the inspectors of his wallet that contained RM150, ATM cards and his warrant card.
The two inspectors went to the nightspot after being told about a fight there.
They tried to stop the fight but were beaten up by Kamarulzamrizal and another person. Kamarulzamrizal was said to have used a spur-knife (used in cockfighting) to attack the inspectors.
The next day, the suspects withdrew RM6,000 from a bank account of one of the inspectors via an ATM.
Police quickly located Kamarulzamrizal at his accomplice’s house near Kampung Surabaya Hilir around 4pm on Nov 3 last year.
He tried to elude the police (sustained some injuries in the process), but eventually both he and his 18-year-old accomplice were arrested.
During a body check, police found some illegal drugs in his pockets and also a spur-knife, believed to be the one used during the attack on the police inspectors.
The suspects were then brought to the state police headquarters.
During interrogation, Kamarulzamrizal was said to have sustained further injuries including internal bleeding in the head.
He was brought to Sarawak General Hospital around 6pm on the same day he was arrested.