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Navy cadet claimed he was tortured before his death, say lawyers

Free Malaysia Today logo Free Malaysia Today 12/7/2018 Vinodh Pillai
Manny Pacquiao et al. posing for the camera: Navy cadet claimed he was tortured before his death, say lawyers © Provided by FMT Navy cadet claimed he was tortured before his death, say lawyers
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Lawyer N Surendran (right) with members of Soosaimanicckam Joseph’s family.

PETALING JAYA: A Royal Malaysian Navy (RMN) cadet trainee who died on May 19 sent a WhatsApp message to his brother days before his death claiming he and his fellow trainees were tortured in the early hours of the day, lawyers for the family said.

N Surendran and Latheefa Koya showed pictures of 27-year-old Soosaimanicckam Joseph with bumps on his forehead at a press conference today.

Members of Soosaimanicckam’s family, who were present at the press conference, insisted the bumps were not there before he joined the navy for training at its Lumut base in Perak a week before.

His brother, Charles, said on the morning of his death, Soosaimanicckam was very sick and wanted to go to a hospital.

This was not approved and he was told to continue with physical training, which led to him fainting, added Charles.

He said his brother died shortly after while on the way to the hospital.

“I was the one who drove him to the navy a week before,” said a teary-eyed Charles.

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Surendran questioned why a cadet trainee in the pink of health should drop dead one week into his service.

Preliminary findings from the post-mortem sighted by FMT showed Soosaimanicckam died of pulmonary adema, or water in the lungs.

However, Surendran said just prior to joining the RMN in May this year, Soosaimanicckam was declared perfectly healthy by a district hospital.

“(That he died due to water in the lungs) is an entirely unacceptable and unsatisfactory explanation,” he said.

“People do not simply drop dead.”

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Lawyers Latheefa Koya (right) and N Surendran (second right) with members of Soosaimanicckam Joseph’s family.

Latheefa meanwhile brushed aside concerns that Soosaimanicckam had suffered a culture shock in the navy, saying he took part in the National Service programme.

Police reports were made by Soosaimanicckam’s father, Joseph Sinappan, and Charles the day after his death.

Surendran said although an inquiry into the death had been initiated by the navy, no members of the family had been called or consulted.

He urged the defence ministry and RMN to reveal what happened to the cadet, adding that he hoped there would be no cover-up under the new government.

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