A Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE)-linked accused was threatened with harm involving a blood-drenched room and being hurled into a “belukar” (wild shrubs area).
These were among the complaints of mental torture allegedly suffered by businessperson B Subramaniam during his 21-day detention under the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act (Sosma) 2012.
As Kuala Lumpur Sessions Court judge Azura Alwi recorded his complaint today, the 57-year-old through an interpreter recounted in Tamil that he was issued the threats in an interrogation session conducted by four non-uniformed officers.
As he sat calmly in the witness stand, Subramaniam said one of the male officers was a big-sized individual who wore a silver bracelet and had kicked a water bottle in the interrogation room while holding a cigarette with one hand.
The businessperson said another officer was busy writing while also smoking in the air-conditioned interrogation room.
Without specifying how many said so, the accused revealed that they told him that “We are the kings here. We are not your workers.”
“They (interrogators) said that the walls of an adjacent room were full of blood and said that do not make us do that against you”.
“They also asked (me) whether I knew there was somebody who was beaten and hurled into a “belukar” (wild shrubs area).
“An officer who was writing at that time, said that he came all the way from Sarawak just for me.
“He told me that if I do not cooperate with them, then my family would be arrested and investigated.
“The officer from Sarawak told me that the investigation against me was completed and found that my offence was in relation to the video only.
“He also told me that if I was beaten and shot in the middle of the road, the police would find it hard to find me as I had many enemies,” Subramaniam said as he sat in the witness stand.
Arrested on Oct 10, Subramaniam and 11 other individuals were later charged at the Kuala Lumpur Sessions Court on Oct 31 for alleged support of defunct militant group LTTE.
Subramaniam was arrested over a video where he was purported to have given support to LTTE.
Today was set for the Kuala Lumpur Sessions Court to hear out Subramaniam’s complaint of ill-treatment during his detention under Sosma.
During the one-hour examination, he said the mental torture began even on the first day of his arrest when he saw his son was made to kneel in front of him by the police.
The restaurant owner recalled how he was kept in an air-conditioned cell, then made to wear black spectacles which he could not see out of, whenever he was brought to the interrogation daily over the course of the Sosma detention.
He said he also felt difficulty breathing due to the smoky atmosphere in the air-conditioned interrogation room.
“During this period, two of the officers were smoking cigarettes while the other two officers were vaping. Due to the room being small, I had difficulty breathing and my eyes watered.
“When I stared at a cigarette box (believed to belong to one of the interrogators), an officer asked me why I was looking at it and told me that he would slap me,” Subramaniam said.
He said that an interrogation session, one of the officers had thrown a document at his feet and threatened to put him in jail if he refused to sign it.
Subramaniam said he suffered further mental torture from him being confined in a dark cell in isolation during his time under detention, only to be brought out each day for interrogation sessions.
“Every day, I would be inside an isolated, closed-off room with one small hole, unable to speak to anyone. When I was brought out of the said room (for interrogation), I would be (made to) wear black spectacles that I cannot see anyone,” he said.
He conceded though that he was never physically beaten during his time under detention.
“None of the investigating officers had beaten me physically. They only gave me mental torture to make me confess that I support terrorists (the LTTE organisation),” he said.
After Subramaniam’s complaint was recorded, the court said the statement was checked for accuracy with Subramaniam, to which he confirmed as the final document.
However, Azura did not set a decision date on the complaint of mental torture by Subramaniam.
Meanwhile, before the same court, Azura postponed Subramaniam’s application for bail to Dec 11.
Today was also initially set to hear his bail application. However, DPP Low Qin Hui sought for the hearing be postponed to another date as the prosecution was only served the cause papers by the applicant around 4pm yesterday afternoon.
He said the prosecution needed time to peruse the cause papers to allow them to come up with affidavit in reply to the application and prepare for the hearing proper.
Subramaniam’s lawyer, S Selvam then told the court that the prosecution could already submit today, adding that they should be aware that Subramaniam has a similar legal application pending at the High Court.
However, Azura then put off the hearing of the bail application to Dec 11 in order to be fair to the prosecution’s side so they could mount adequate arguments against said application.
On Dec 2, Malaysiakini reported that Subramaniam’s lawyer Selvam filed the bail application on Nov 29.
This on the same day that a separate Kuala Lumpur High Court ruled that detainees under Sosma still deserved to have their bail applications heard by the courts, despite section 13 of Sosma stating that those charged for a security offence cannot be offered bail.
Tomorrow, Azura’s court is set to hear another complaint of purported mistreatment while under Sosma detention by scrap metal dealer A Kalaimughilan.
Meanwhile, during proceedings before Azura this afternoon, the judge also set Dec 11 to hear Kalaimughilan’s application for bail.
The judge set the hearing date after Kalaimughilan’s lawyer MV Yoges informed the court that they had just filed the bail application. – Malaysiakini