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Selangor to foot Pornthip’s bills?

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0713porntipPETALING JAYA: Selangor Menteri Besar Khalid Ibrahim has indicated that his administration is willing to facilitate Thai pathologist Pornthip Rojanasunand’s trip to Malaysia to conduct a second autopsy on C Sugumaran, whose death was allegedly the result of police brutality.

This would include paying her bills, according to N Surendran, a PKR vice-president and one of the lawyers representing the family of the deceased.

“Khalid is prepared to make the necessary arrangements on two grounds,” Surendran told FMT.

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“First, Sugumaran is a Selangorian and second, it is Pakatan Rakyat’s policy to bring an end to deaths in custody.”

Sugumaran, a 40-year-old security guard, was allegedly beaten to death by policemen and some villagers in Hulu Langat on Jan 25. A post-mortem examination conducted the following day at Serdang Hospital concluded that he died of a heart attack.

His family has disputed the finding and is demanding a second autopsy. The police has meanwhile applied for an inquest into the death.

The family also wants the procedure to be conducted by Dr Pornthip for fear that a Malaysian forensic pathologist would be pressured to arrive at a conclusion favourable to the police.

Dr Pornthip is the director of the Central Institute of Forensic Science at Thailand’s Ministry of Justice. She caught the attention of Malaysians when she testified in the 2010 inquest into the death of political aide Teoh Beng Hock.

Surendran also said he was seeking Khalid’s assistance in liaising with Thailand on a government-to- government basis to secure Dr Pornthip’s services.

“We are seeking Selangor’s assistance to put in an application to the Justice Ministry of Thailand since our federal government is reluctant to do so,” he said.

Earlier today, Surendran alleged that the Health Ministry was blocking attempts to engage Dr Pornthip for the autopsy.

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