TO BE SUED OVER DEATHS

New Straits Times - - News -

within the next two weeks, said the Land and Mines Of­fice had con­firmed that the land, where the drown­ing oc­curred, had not been leased for min­ing ac­tiv­i­ties.

He said the of­fice pro­vided him with the land owner’s de­tails along with the prop­erty lot num­ber.

“The fam­i­lies will file the suit against the land owner, and if there are oth­ers in­volved, then the said owner can in­clude them as a third party (in the suit). That is up to the land owner to de­cide.

“I will write to (the Land and Mines Of­fice) to clar­ify the pre­vi­ous state­ment by (state Women and Fam­ily De­vel­op­ment Com­mit­tee chair­man Datuk Sha­h­a­niza Sham­sud­din) that the land owner had only been given a per­mit to pro­duce la­t­erite,” he said yes­ter­day.

Har­ris said he had yet to re­ceive copies of the post-mortem re­ports of the vic­tims.

He said po­lice told him to write to the state pros­e­cu­tion di­rec­tor to seek per­mis­sion be­fore they could re­lease the re­ports.

“Ini­tially, po­lice con­tacted me say­ing the re­ports had been pre­pared and I could col­lect them.

“But on Feb 21, I re­ceived a let­ter (from po­lice) say­ing that I must get the per­mis­sion of the (state) pros­e­cu­tion di­rec­tor be­fore the doc­u­ments could be re­leased.

“This is the first time I have come across such a pro­ce­dure. Pre­vi­ously, po­lice re­ports, in this case le­gal doc­u­ments which need to be pre­sented in court, were usu­ally pro­vided once you pay for them.

“I have com­plied and writ­ten to the (state) pros­e­cu­tor’s of­fice, but have yet to re­ceive any re­ply,” he said, adding that he had al­ready ob­tained all other nec­es­sary doc­u­ments.

Be­serah as­sem­bly­man An­dansura Rabu, who was present at the press con­fer­ence, said it was sur­pris­ing that the land owner claimed he was not aware that his land was used for baux­ite min­ing ac­tiv­i­ties.

“The owner has to be re­spon­si­ble for his land. Land that is used for baux­ite min­ing has to have valid li­cence be­fore they can be mined,” he said.

On Feb 4, sib­lings Sasabella Zul­hairi, 12, and Ma­hathir Mo­hamad, 7, and friend, Nureen Ain Juwita Mohd Sharif, 10, drowned while try­ing to re­trieve a pair of pants from the dis­used min­ing­pit.

PIC BY SYARAFIQ ABD SA­MAD

The ac­cused be­ing led out of the Am­pang Ses­sions Court in Kuala Lumpur yes­ter­day.

Mohd Har­ris Ab­dul­lah

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