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Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Police vow transparency in Bersih probe

Sulaiman Kamal | 2:31 AM | | | | | Best Blogger Tips

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KL’s top cop says investigators will cooperate with Suhakam in probe into alleged brutality against July 9 marchers.

KUALA LUMPUR:  Police have promised to be fair and transparent in investigating allegations of brutality against participants in Bersih’s July 9 rally.
“We want to find out if there has been any fault on our side,” said Amar Singh, the acting chief of Kuala Lumpur police.
“We’re looking at the execution of duty, how we did our work. Whether it was done properly, whether everything was within the ambit of law and whether there was abuse.

“We’re trying to be as transparent as we can.”
He said police would cooperate with Suhakam, which has pledged to hold a public inquiry that could begin next month.
KL police and Bukit Aman Federal Police Headquarters have set up several teams to probe the allegations of excessive police action on July 9.
Accusers have backed their allegations with video and photographic evidence posted on the Internet. Last week, a Suhakam commissioner heard first-person accounts from PAS deputy president Mohamad Sabu and several other alleged victims and witnesses of police brutality.

“We have a few things to look into,” Amar told FMT.  “We want to work at finding out every detail of what transpired. We are sifting through the many photographic and video evidence that we are gathering.”
Repeating a call for witnesses or victims to lodge reports, Amar promised a thorough investigation into “each and every” case.
“Anybody who was assaulted, please lodge a police report, and an investigation paper will definitely be opened up and we will follow through with it,” he said. “We’ll be very fair.”
He said the number of reports lodged so far had been “minimal”.
“There have been a lot of rumours, but we can’t go anywhere if nobody comes forward.”
According to recent news reports, police have set up separate teams to investigate the overall execution of crowd control, the death of rally participant Baharuddin Ahmad, and allegations that tear gas was fired into Tung Shin hospital.
Amar said Baharuddin’s death was for now classified as sudden death. “Give us some time. We will forward to the magistrate for the court to decide if there is a need for an inquest.”
He said the investigations were being done on police initiative. “We were not instructed to do this,” he claimed.

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