PUTRAJAYA: The policeman who received S. Balamurugan at the Shah Alam lock-up prior to his remand hearing said he saw that the detainee needed medical attention but let it be.
Kpl Muszanizam Mustaffa (pic), who is the sentry supervisor in Shah Alam, said this during the Enforcement Agency Integrity Commission (EAIC) hearing on Thursday.
He told the hearing that the 44-year-old detainee appeared to be weak and was "shivering terribly" when he arrived.
"When he came in to Shah Alam (with five other detainees) at 3am on Feb 7, he was handcuffed separately, while the others were held with connecting handcuffs.
"He was walking slowly on his own and he was shaking very badly. It was the first time I have ever seen someone in custody shaking like that.
"He could barely stand as the shaking was quite severe and when I asked him why he was shaking, a fellow detainee said it was because Balamurugan had an alcohol addiction," said Kpl Muszanizam, adding that he believed it because Balamurugan had reeked of alcohol.
The 37-year-old policeman then told the hearing that it was his duty as sentry supervisor to ensure detainees were in good health and not injured.
"I saw that he needed help, yes, but I did not help," he said when questioned by EAIC chairman Datuk Yaacob Md Sam on whether Balamurugan appeared to be all right.
Kpl Muszanizam also told the hearing that he had seen Balamurugan trying to wake a fellow detainee.
"I went over to ask (Balamurugan) why he was waking him up and he just turned to me and said, 'Open the door, I want to go home'.
"This is normal behaviour for many who come to the lock-up so I did not think much of it.
"I also did not see any blood on him or any obvious injury from my general inspection, so I assumed he just had alcohol problems," Kpl Muszanizam said, adding that an accompanying policeman from the North Klang station had also mentioned that Balamurugan was addicted to alcohol.
Upon hearing this, Yaacob said that at no point did the post-mortem report cite alcohol as a cause of death.
Kpl Mohd Reduwan Musa and L/Kpl Mohd Faizul Azmi Mohd Maliki, who were both on duty at the North Klang police station when Balamurugan was transferred to Shah Alam, also said they had ignored the detainee's condition as they believed it was caused by alcohol.
"He looked weak and he definitely needed special attention but he did not complain of pain and he smelled of alcohol," said L/Kpl Mohd Faizul.
The EAIC hearing into the death of Balamurugan, who died in custody in the early hours of Feb 8 at the North Klang lock-up, will continue from July 10 to July 13.Resource : The Star Online