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Malaysian cop found guilty of custodial death

June 11, 2012 16:24 IST

A Malaysian court on Monday found a constable guilty of two counts of causing hurt to a car thief suspect A Kugan, an ethnic Indian, who died in police custody.

Kugan, 22, was arrested on January 14, 2009, to help in investigations into a luxury car theft syndicate. He died six days later, triggering uproar among the country's minority ethnic Indian population of police brutality.

Sessions Court Judge Aslam Zainuddin sentenced constable V Navindran, also an ethnic Indian, to three years' jail from the date of sentencing for each count, with the sentences to be served concurrently.

"The defence failed to raise a reasonable doubt in this case," said Aslam. The judge allowed a stay of execution pending appeal. Navindran was accused of two alternative counts of causing hurt to Kugan at the interrogation room of the police station on Jan 16, 2009.

A court had acquitted Navindran of the charges but the high court later overturned the acquittal and ordered him to enter his defence.

Navindran's lawyer said his client was innocent and had been made a "scapegoat". The lawyer said he would appeal against the verdict. Ethnic Indians form about eight per cent of the country's 28 million people.

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