An alleged rapist claims an officer slapped him twice, causing pus to ooze out of his left ear, when he refused to admit he had raped his mother, the High Court heard on Thursday (Sep 8).
The 33-year-old man also accused the officer, Inspector Thinagaran Krishnasamy, of slapping the back of his head and neck and shoving him against the wall in an interview room at the Police Cantonment Complex on Oct 4, 2013.
When questioned by the man’s lawyers about whether he had “offered the accused any threats, inducement or promise” to elicit a confession, Inspector Thinagaran replied: “No, I only offered him warm water.”
The accused also claims he was threatened by another officer, Deputy Superintendent of Police Burhanudeen Haji Hussainar, who told him to cooperate with lead investigator Inspector Thermizi Tho or suffer “the same treatment”.
The man, who is on trial for allegedly raping and molesting his then 53-year-old mother in the early hours of Oct 4, 2013, claimed he felt helpless and was in pain when he gave two statements to Inspector Tho shortly after being interviewed by DSP Burhanudeen and Inspector Thinagaran.
He is now challenging the admissibility of the two statements at trial.
Both DSP Burhanudeen and Inspector Thinagaran deny they assaulted or threatened the man. The officers said that while the man appeared defensive at first, he eventually “revealed the truth” and showed remorse for what he had done.
“He was overcome with remorse, he was crying, he wanted to meet his mother to apologise, he even wanted to kiss her feet, that’s what he said,” DSP Burhanudeen told the court.
Defence lawyer Andy Lem said that while the accused agreed he had been in tears that day, “the crying was not because he was remorseful, but because he was begging you and Insp Thinagaran to stop the beating … in fact, the accused had showed you his left ear which had pus flowing out of it,” Mr Lem said.
However, a doctor who examined the accused shortly after the interview said the man did not complain of an earache or pus oozing out of the ear, and had denied being handled roughly by officers.
The doctor, Dr Wong Kia Boon, said it is protocol to ask all suspects whether they had been handled roughly during an interview.
The man said he had not confided in Dr Wong because he was “disheartened … thinking that this doctor is also one of their team, so I choose not to say about the beating to the doctor (sic)”.
Mr Lem also claimed his client suffers a chronic ear problem, and recurring ear infections cause pus to ooze out of the man’s left ear. The accused had suffered a flare-up of the condition the day before the alleged rape, and had visited a doctor to get it seen to, the court heard.
Though Dr Wong testified he did not notice pus oozing out of the man’s ear, he said any trauma to the ears could potentially exacerbate the condition.
Besides this, Mr Lem also pointed out multiple inconsistencies in the testimonies given by the police officers and the accused.
For example, the officers testified that the man had been handcuffed to the chair in the interview room, according to protocol; the man insisted his hands had been handcuffed together and not to the chair.
Views also differed about whether Inspector Thinagaran had remained in the interview room with the accused and DSP Burhanudeen, or whether he left 20 minutes into the two-hour interview after bringing a cup of water to the accused.
The trial continues on Friday.