Thursday, July 19, 2007

Nat's Account

Nathaniel Tan has released a complete first-person account of his four-day ordeal of remand.

It is released in dual-languages - English and Malay.

It seems now that police has now has the kind of the Gestapo behavior, pushing for answers and even make them answer for something that people did not do.

A very interesting passage from the text:

Throughout my detention, the police employed various questioning strategies in what struck me strongly as a concerted attempt to make me admit to things that I had not done.

The police also subjected me to various rounds of questioning between about 5.30pm and 9pm by different police officers who all kept asking me the same questions. I later learnt that questioning at such late hours was in fact illegal.

One of the officers questioning me that evening who refused to identify himself threatened to slap me and throw me across the room.

Not having access to legal counsel, I refused to answer in detail any questions the police posed in their extremely suspicious manner.

The situation worsened on Saturday, the 14th of July.

Despite my repeated appeals to the police officers accompanying me to court to be produced before the magistrate for the remand hearing, they absolutely refused to notify my family or, more importantly, my lawyers that I was to be produced in court.

This caused in me a great deal of undue stress because I feared that I would be forced to face the magistrate without any legal representation.

Entirely by a stroke of luck, a lawyer at the magistrate’s court was able to assist me in contacting my lawyer, R Sivarasa. Had said lawyer not been present, I may have not been given the opportunity to be represented by counsel during my hearing, and my remand order may have been for fourteen days instead of for four.

Even after my lawyer arrived, the police made every possible effort to block me from consulting with my lawyers, denying me extremely basic human rights connected to judicial due process. This even included repeatedly trying to spy and eavsdrop on the conversations I was attempting to have with my lawyers.

After the remand order was allowed, the police continued to pursue the same line of questioning.

Having being advised by my lawyer during my remand hearing not to answer any questions or sign any statements, I refused to answer the increasingly combative line of questioning by the police.

On Saturday itself, a senior officer employed physical means in an attempt to intimidate me into answering their questions. This included shoving me into a chair while I was standing handcuffed.

Although I had stated my intent to exercise my right to silence, and despite my lawyer’s argument that the police had all the evidence they required to investigate me, the police’s insistence on holding me for all four days proved a complete waste of my time and of police resources. I was also made to endure unhygenic and pitifully substandard accomdations in the lockup throughout this time.

There is a question from this though. In Kingdom of Heaven, King Baldwin IV stated to our main character Balian of Ibelin:

But remember that, even when those who move you be kings or men of power, your soul is in your keeping alone. When you stand before God you cannot say "but I was told by others to do thus" or that "virtue was not convinient at the time. This will not suffice.
I am very impressed that Nathaniel was able to stand up against the crooked cops that tried to strip him of his sanity. How he refused to be intimidated by cops and kept his head down throughout the four days. I agree that the cops are totally wasting their time. But under whose orders were the cops are answering too? CID head Christopher Wan? No, I don't believe so.

Is this how the police threat someone who is not proven a criminal or caught red-handed?

Does this show how rough the police are. Does this make the public shun the police because of their attitude? Please address this issue so that the public can have better confidence at them!

I'll let you viewers, local and worldwide be the judge. Tell us what do you think.

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