Kidnap accused not allowed to ‘lodge police reports’


  • Nation
  • Tuesday, 13 Jan 2004

BY FREDERICK FERNANDEZ

KLANG: The defence team representing seven men who are charged with kidnapping a businesswoman will file an application for contempt against the prosecution and the police for defying a court order to allow the accused to make police reports over alleged beatings from the police and to get medical treatment. 

Counsel Gobind Singh Deo, who spoke on behalf of fellow counsel Gerard Lazarus and Ayasamy Velu at the magistrate’s court here yesterday, also applied to magistrate Mujib Saroji to compel investigating officer C/Insp Azlan Ahmad to explain why the seven were denied access to medical treatment and to lodge police reports on the alleged beatings while under custody despite being ordered by the court last month. 

Deputy Public Prosecutor Salim Soib said although the court had made such an order, his understanding was that the defence should have made the arrangements. 

Gobind Singh Deo argued that the seven were under police custody and thus it was the duty of the prosecution to ensure they were given access to medical treatment and allowed to make police reports. 

“We can only conclude that the prosecution and police had deliberately denied the accused access to medical treatment and to lodge police reports immediately as a means to allow their wounds and scars to clear, thus doing away with the evidence to support their claim of police brutality,” said Gobind Singh Deo. 

In the dock were Khoo Chee Peng also known as Sea Dragon King, 40; Ang Choon Jit, 24; Tan Kok Soon, 21; Foo Jong Chern, 18; Teh Leng Han, 23; Lee Ah Kau, 18; and Lim Jian Yeu, 18, who were jointly charged with abducting a 47-year-old businesswoman at a storeroom in Bukit Rajah, Klang from Nov 29 to Dec 1 last year and later in a hotel room at Jalan Pasar, Klang from Dec 1 to 3 with the intention of demanding a RM200,000 ransom. 

They were charged under Section 4 of the Kidnap Act 1961, which carries a life imprisonment or death sentence upon conviction. 

Khoo and Lim were represented by Ayasamy; Tan and Foo by Gobind Singh Deo and Teh and Lee by Lazarus.  

Foo was unrepresented. 

Earlier, Foo caused a stir in the courtroom when he said he did not want to be represented by lawyer C.T. Lee who was engaged by his family.  

When asked who would be representing him, Foo said he would inform the court later.  

On another matter, Gobind Singh Deo complained that the Sungai Buloh Prison authorities denied all three defence counsel access to their clients. 

“On the few occasions that we went there to meet our clients, the officers there said they were not authorised to allow anybody to meet the accused unless they received instructions from the police or the prosecution. Thus, I urge you to also act on this matter,” Gobind Singh Deo told Mujib. 

To this, DPP Salim told the defence team to submit a report to his office listing the names of officers from the prison who denied them access to their clients so that the DPP’s office could conduct an inquiry on the complaint.  

Mujib set Feb 22 to hear the explanation by investigating officer C/Insp Azlan as to why the accused were denied medical treatment and access to lodge police reports on their alleged beatings. 

Earlier at another court, one of the accused, Lee Ah Kau, claimed trial to a charge of outraging the modesty of the victim abducted by the men.  

Magistrate Tasnim Abu Bakar set bail at RM3,500 in one surety. 

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