|Malaysian Bar chief: Time for coroner to direct investigations|
|Monday, 30 July 2012 08:21am|
©The Star (Used by permission)
by SHAILA KOSHY
KUALA LUMPUR: It's time Malaysia had a coroner's court where the coroner supervises death investigations, said Malaysian Bar president Lim Chee Wee.
He said Malaysia should establish a new one modelled on the Singapore and New Zealand systems.
At present, he said, the coroner only receives a report from the police once their investigations have been completed.
“The magistrate/coroner does not oversee or supervise the investigations because the death inquiry is a quasi-judicial proceeding,” said Lim in an interview.
On July 19, High Court judge Justice Kamardin Hashim had concluded his judicial review of the inquest into the death of R. Gunasegaran, 31, in police custody in 2009 by agreeing with the open verdict of the coroner.
Lim said a better model was one where the coroner administered the Coroners Act, including supervising investigations, ensuring all relevant evidence is gathered, presiding over inquiries and making findings.
The police would still carry out investigations but the coroner would issue instructions as to the conduct of the investigation, he added.
“One of the directions which the coroner may make is for the investigation to be carried out by a different police station team or that a special police team be set up to investigate deaths in custody,” said Lim, who added that de facto Law Minister Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz had been keen on the idea when they met him on their proposal for a new coroner's court.
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