Investigation officer said no criminal element involved despite injuries, Coroner’s Court hears

The late cadet officer J. Soosaimanicckam’s family members outside the court room.

IPOH: Despite evidence and doubts that the late naval cadet officer J. Soosaimanicckam did not die due to natural causes, the investigation officer (IO) failed to take a statement from the deceased’s brother, a Coroner’s Court here heard.

Civil servant Calvin Joseph, 35, said his brother’s body had bruises, lacerations and other injuries, but despite that the officer had told him that there were no criminal elements involved.

Calvin said the officer only called one of the seven witnesses who had seen what was going on during the training sessions and that he also took a brief statement by just allowing the witness to answer “Yes” or ‘’No”.

“I found two pink slips in my late brother’s shorts which were request slips to see a doctor that were rejected by the navy officers. I had informed the IO about it, but he never called me back on that.

ALSO READ: Deceased Naval cadet was a victim of ragging, Coroner's Court hears

“In total, we have lodged four police reports on the evidence we had obtained that were not investigated, and it is in our belief that my brother was abused which led to his death.

“The IO had in court stated that he was unaware of the slips requesting to see a doctor, when in fact I had informed him, and after he failed to see me, I lodged a report stating that I have the slips in my hand,” he told Sessions Court judge Ainul Shahrin Mohamad, who sat as coroner on Wednesday (Jan 18).

The Coroner’s Court is probing the cause of Soosaimanicckam’s death during his training at the naval base on May 19, 2018, a week after reporting for duty on May 12.

Soosaimanicckam was pronounced dead at the Lumut Armed Forces Hospital.

Mahajoth Singh and Zaid Abd Malek of Lawyers for Liberty are representing Soosaimanicckam’s family, while Evangelin Simon Silvaraj is acting for the Malaysian government.

Lawyer Cheang Lek Choy is holding a watching brief for the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam).

All the documents, including the police reports that Calvin mentioned were tendered in as exhibits after he testified.

ALSO READ: Late naval officer had kidney injuries, water in the lungs, Coroner’s Court told

Calvin said the Navy officers had told his family that the postmortem could only be carried out the next day, as the doctor at the Seri Manjung hospital only worked during office hours.

He said the next day when he met with the doctor, and had informed him about the injuries on the body of the deceased, the doctor had replied that it was normal due to the training.

“While we waited outside the doctor’s room for the postmortem to be over, a few high-ranking navy officers went to see the doctor.

“Once the postmortem was concluded, and when we went to see the doctor again, he looked nervous, agitated, and was sweating before telling us that the cause of death was due to water in the lungs.

“My brother was fit as a fiddle before joining the training as certified by a government hospital's full medical report, as well as from the physical tests by the Navy headquarters in Kuala Lumpur,” he said, adding that without such reports, his brother would not be allowed to enter training.

Calvin said he was baffled by medical reports stating that his brother suffered from kidney failure due to leptospirosis since the victim had no such medical history and was only at the training ground for a week before he died.

“My question is the seven other trainees (who left the Navy as they were deemed unfit after suffering from effects of leptospirosis) also drank the same water that came from a tank with a dead rat, but they are all alive.

“Some had to undergo dialysis, but why is it that my brother died? This happened because my brother was bullied, beaten, given excessive punishment compared to the rest, without being allowed to seek medical treatment despite several attempts in asking for permission to do so.

"Some of the trainees that left the service had already elaborated on how my brother was beaten, bullied and punished for the slightest mistakes,” he said.

Calvin told Ainul Shahrin that the family wanted justice, and hoped a criminal investigation could be carried out against the few who had caused his brother’s death, because currently there were a lot of cover-ups.

“The current officers attached to the Navy dare not speak up. My brother was a victim who did not deserve to die such a death,” he said.

The coroner's court case continues on March 30

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