Monday 24 September 2012

'I was there to ensure police brutality didn't occur'

  • Koh Jun Lin
  • 8:01PM Sep 24, 2012
Former Dang Wangi OCPD Mohamad Zulkarnain Abd Rahman has disputed a reporter’s account that he was seen briefing a group of police personnel before they had spread out to assault protesters.

NONE“For me it is only an allegation. I was there to ensure such things (police brutality) do not occur and I walked around to see to it,” he said.

Zulkarnain (right) said wireless communications had just cleared up after being congested earlier that day, and he was relaying newly-received orders from the Kuala Lumpur police chief to “ask for the protesters’ cooperation to disperse.”

However, he said few protesters remained by then, at about 6.30pm, and he and his subordinates went out to ensure that the situation was all clear.

He claimed that throughout his walk from Dataran Merdeka to Masjid India and back, he did not see any beatings by police personnel.

He claimed that throughout his walk from Dataran Merdeka to Masjid India via Jalan Tunku Abdrul Rahman and back, he did not see any beatings by police personnel.

His testimony at the Malaysian Human Rights Commission’s (Sukamam) public inquiry today contradicts an earlier testimony by theSun journalist Radzi Razak.

NONERadzi (left) had previously told the same inquiry panel that Zulkarnain was seen briefing a group of police personnel, who charged at him immediately after.

The incident at about 6.30pm on Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman left him hospitalised for 11 days to nurse a broken jaw.

Zulkarnain, the inquiry’s 37th witness, had testified under repeated questioning from the Suhakam panel and observers from the Bar Council and Bersih coalition that he did not see any wrongdoings from the police.

“If I did, I would stop him (the police officer) because it is against orders to do so,” he said when asked if he saw any instances of excessive force being used.

He also told the panel that he had been at around Dataran Merdeka since 8.30am and hardly left the area. In this time, he did not witness any arrests being made, only protesters being escorted to a temporary holding area near the Royal Selangor Club.

When allegations that many protesters were beaten along the way to the holding area were put to him, he said he did not see it and police vehicles parked along the way might have blocked it and his vision.

'Acting beyond their powers'

However, he agreed with Bersih observer Daniel Albert’s suggestion that police personnel not wearing name tags, taking protesters’ belongings, or assaulting protesters were acting beyond their powers.

When asked who should be held responsible, he said that the offending police personnel should be held liable for disciplinary action if he was acting on his own accord.

However, his superior officer would be responsible instead if he was merely following orders, or the offence was committed with the officers knowledge and the officer decides to turn a blind eye.

He also told the inquiry that anyone found within the cordoned-off area surrounding Dataran Merdeka would be arrested, as well as those caught committing an offence beyond the barricades.

However, he said no order was given to pursue protesters until caught, or arrest them inside buildings as some other witnesses had alleged.

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