Friday, February 17, 2012

Cops probe BMC protest brutality - five years later

Source: (By Lee Long Hui, 17/2/2012)
Police had finally opened a file to investigate the complaint by a Bandar Mahkota Cheras (BMC) resident who alleged he was assaulted by plainclothes officers during the demonstration at the Cheras-Kajang Highway five years ago in 2007.
Ho Chee Loong, who lodged a police report one day after thedemonstration, has been summoned by the authority for an identification parade at Kajang police district headquarters today. However, he was told that all the relevant officers were absent due to “tiredness” after an operation they had carried out last night. The police district headquarters had postponed the identification parade to tomorrow at 11am. Ho was accompanied by his counsel, Lim Lip Eng, and younger brother Ho Chee Hui today.
Speaking at a press conference later, Lim said that Ho only received an SMS from the investigating officer of the case at 9am this morning to “kindly remind” him to attend the identification parade. Hence, he slammed the police for being unprofessional on this matter.
Chee Loong and Chee Hui and Tan Boon Wah (left) were among some 21 protesters detained during the demonstration on Jan 21, 2007 against the hike in toll rates at five major Klang Valley highways from Jan 1, 2007. They claimed they were assaulted by plainclothes officers during the arrest and filed a civil suit against the Kajang police chief, the inspector-general of police and the government on Oct 24, 2007. However, the Bangi Sessions Court had dismissed their case after four years on the grounds that the police were using reasonable force to disperse the crowd.
According to Lim, the investigating officer admitted that the case has been prolonged for so long because the Attorney-General’s Chambers wanted the police to further investigate, following the civil suit. But Lim rebutted this statement, saying that the priority of this criminal case is higher than the civil suit. He also slammed the police for lying because the authorities only asked Ho to record his statement on Feb 8 this year, which means that the police had never investigated the case before that.

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