Saturday, June 16, 2012

'No cover-up in rally death' in Bersih 2.0

There was no attempt to cover up the death of taxi driver Baharudin Ahmad during last year's Bersih 2.0 rally, a top city policeman told an inquest yesterday.

Kuala Lumpur deputy police chief Datuk Amar Singh also denied that he was shaken up when he heard about Baharudin's death.

"If I was shaken up by the death, then I am not fit to be the deputy chief of police."

He also told the inquest that although he was overall commander of police operations during the rally, it was Dang Wangi police chief Assistant Commissioner Zulkarnain Abdul Rahman who was the ground commander of operations. "He was in charge of all areas under the Dang Wangi district, including the Kuala Lumpur City Centre (KLCC) area."

Baharudin's family lawyer, Ahmad Jufliz Faiza, asked why Zulkarnain, in his testimony earlier, had said he did know about Baharudin's death until Amar had informed him.

Amar: He should have been aware of the death. He's the OCPD (officer in charge of police district).

Jufliz: He kept saying you were the one who knew.

Amar: Yes, I knew, but he should have known it as well.

Jufliz also told Amar that Zulkarnain had testified that he did not order the Federal Reserve Unit to go to the KLCC area.

Amar: Any surveillance in the KLCC area must have come from him. Maybe he had forgotten.

He said he had paid attention to this case as there were many interpretations of Baharudin's death on the Internet.

"There were allegations that Baharudin's death was caused by tear gas and water cannons, and that he was also assaulted by police. That is why I took an interest in the case, not to usurp the powers of the OCPD."

He said no tear gas was fired at rally participants in the KLCC area that day.

Hearing before coroner Zulkpli Abdullah continues on June 27.

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