The Malaysian Medical Council (MMC) hearing on a complaint lodged against the doctor who performed the first autopsy on deceased police detainee Kugan Ananthan has been postponed.
The hearing by a special six-member committee was supposed to begin at 3.30pm in Kuala Lumpur, but Kugan’s family had sought the postponement to allow the doctor in question – Dr Abdul Karim Tajuddin – to seek legal representation.
The hearing conducted by the MMC’s Preliminary Investigations Committee and chaired by Dr Megat Burhainuddin Abd Rahman, fixed April 17 for the next session.
The hearing is being conducted in the Health Promotion Board headquarters, next to Masjid Negara.
Lawyer N Surendran, who is representing Kugan’s family, said his clients wanted Abdul Karim to be properly represented to defend himself against the allegation of misconduct.
He added that Abdul Karim, from Serdang Hospital, should be given time to seek counsel so that he would not be in an “unfair disadvantage”.
“This is not just any inquiry. It has far reaching consequences which would affect public confidence on public hospitals,” he said.
Conflicting autopsy reports
Surendran said such cases must be probed properly because there is widespread belief that pathologists often cover-up for the police in cases of custodial death.
Kugan, 22, died on Jan 20 at the Taipan police station in Subang Jaya after being in custody for five days. He was probed for alleged involvement in a car theft ring.
Selangor police chief Khalid Abu Bakar claimed that the autopsy report from Serdang Hospital showed that Kugan died from “water in the lungs.”
However, Kugan’s family discovered burn marks and bruises all over the deceased’s body and sought a second autopsy from Universiti Malaya Medical Centre which greatly differed from the Serdang Hospital report.
The second autopsy report suggested that Kugan was beaten to death. Following this, Kugan’s mother S Indra lodged a report with the MMC against Abdul Karim for alleged misconduct. Mkini