Monday, November 29, 1999

`Ethnic Indian Malaysian air force officer tortured`

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Kuala Lumpur, June 18 (IANS) The ethnic Indian father of a Malaysian air force sergeant accused of stealing two jet engines has said that his son has been tortured in jail.N. Nagarajah, 71, has filed a police report alleging that his son, Sergeant N. Tharmendran, was tortured for three weeks to make him confess to a crime he did not commit.Nagarajah said people who ill-treated his son were senior Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) officers who had been named in the investigation into the theft, The Star said Friday.The matter relates to the theft of two jet engines in 2007, which was detected only last year.'There is no way a person could have stolen the two engines by himself,' the anguished father said here Thursday.'Many people are involved but they are putting the blame on my son,' he said.Nagarajah said Tharmendran told him he was tortured for three weeks.'My son told me that he was questioned repeatedly after midnight and was not allowed to sleep. The mental and physical torture occurred between June 2 and 17 last year.'He was forced into an air-conditioned room and was stripped to his underwear. The air conditioner was turned on full.'Two senior RMAF officers forced my son to wear a crash helmet and struck his head using a golf club and a cricket bat, repeatedly,' Nagarajah said, urging that action be taken against the attackers.A public accounts committee's investigation revealed that the two engines cost $93,000 in 2007.While Tharmendran was charged with the theft from the Sungai Besi air base, 37-year-old businessman K. Rajandran Prasad was accused of helping him sell off the engines.Another air force officer, Mohamad Shukri Mohd Yusop, was charged with abetting Tharmendran.

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