Why EAIC commissioner acts as Defence Lawyer for policeman

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We refer to the Government’s continuous support for the Enforcement Agency Integrity Commission (EAIC).

We wish to point out that one of the Commissioners on its panel is Dato’ Salehuddin Saidin who also is the defence lawyer for one of the accused charged for murder in the custodial death case of N. Dhamendran.

This is in serious conflict considering Dato Salehuddin will have to defend his client and at the same time is expected to be independent and objective when looking into the complaints and misconduct of policemen.

We also note that this is not the first time Dato’ Salehuddin Saidin is involved as a defence lawyer for policemen in custodial torture and death cases. He was also involved previously as the Defence lawyer for Navindran a/l Vivekanandan, charged for causing grievous hurt on A. Kugan who died in custody. Worse still, Dato’ Salehuddin also represented Serdang Hospital pathologist Dr Abdul Karim Tajudin who was found guilty of professional misconduct in preparing A. Kugan’s first post mortem report.

He was also representing the policemen in the case of B. Prabakar who was tortured and scalded by hot water while in custody in year 2008.

The government must withdraw its continuous support of EAIC if it is actually serious about resolving death and torture in police custody. We reiterate that nothing short of IPCMC will work and more importantly there must be a guarantee of its independence to ensure professional investigation is carried out without fear or favour.

Latheefa Koya