KOTA KINABALU: A magistrates court here acquitted seven policemen of the manslaughter of a Filipino detainee at a detention centre in Menggatal two years ago.
Magistrate Mohd Zaki Kundus held that the prosecution had failed to prove beyond reasonable doubt the charges against the seven framed under Section 304B of the Penal Code for allegedly causing the death of Elliong bin Alwi, 45, a Bajau Filipino at the centre between 2am and 6am on June 4, 2001.
The victim was allegedly clubbed to death.
The seven acquitted were Kpl Mohd Isa Harun, 39, and constables Ismail Daud, 28, Mohammad Mat Zin, 29, Mohd Awang Ali Yuseri, 25, Leon Matahu, 29, Fedolin Galiku, 25, and Junaidi Benu, 28.
Their counsel James Tsai and Cedric Choo had contended in their submissions on Jan 3 this year that the prosecution, led by Senior Federal Counsel Abdul Rahid Sudin, had failed to prove that the identity of the deceased was Elliong Alwi.
The defence had produced an Immigration document that showed that Elliong Alwi was repatriated via Sandakan port on Jan 29, 2001.
The counsels had argued that in the absence of evidence adduced by the prosecution, the court could not make an assumption that the same Elliong Alwi had returned to Sabah, was re-arrested and remanded again at the Menggatal detention centre and beaten by seven policemen and later confirmed to be dead by a doctor at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital.
In discharging and acquitting the policemen, Mohd Zaki held that the defence had succeeded in raising doubt in the prosecutions case.
Senior Federal Counsel Abdul Rashid Sudin had called on 16 witnesses to testify for the prosecution during the trial in March last year.
On Oct 17, last year, Mohd Zaki ruled that the prosecution had established a prima facie case and ordered the seven to enter their defence.