Accused attacks cops in court

GEORGE TOWN, Malaysia - Aman on trial for preventing an inspector from discharging his duties had to be carried out of the magistrate's court here by six police officers after he went berserk and started attacking policemen yesterday.

Despite being outnumbered, S. Morele proved to be a handful for the policemen as he struggled to free himself while being restrained.

The 30-year-old technician, who has a history of schizophrenia, was only subdued after 10 minutes when police finally managed to handcuff his legs and hands.

The drama unfolded soon after Morele's case was called up for hearing before magistrate Noor Aini Yusof.

Soon after entering the dock, Morele tried to address Noor Aini directly but was told he should only speak through his lawyer.

Morele's lawyer, M. Viswanathan, then told the court that his client had been admitted to Hospital Bahagia, Ulu Kinta, in 2010 after suffering from a relapse of schizophrenia.

Deputy public prosecutors Nur Farhana Hashim and Emma Syafawati said the information was news to them and asked Viswanathan why the defence had failed to inform the prosecution about this earlier.

Noor Aini then ordered Morele to be sent to the same hospital for a month's observation and fixed July 27 for mention.

When court was adjourned, a policeman started walking towards the dock to escort Morele out of the court.

Morele then grabbed hold of the policeman and started shouting vulgarities and condemning the men in blue.

He also threatened to commit suicide.

A policeman hurled a chair towards Morele in an attempt to overcome him.

Morele's parents, who were also there, tried to calm their son but were unsuccessful. More policemen came and finally managed to restrain him.

Morele was charged with obstructing Inspector Chandran R. Marimutu from carrying out his duties by throwing a beer can at him during the Thaipusam festival at the junction of Chulia Street and Penang Road, opposite the Odeon Cinema, about 2am on Feb 9.

The case was picked up by a human rights group when Morele lodged a report claiming he was a victim of police brutality.

Morele claimed he was assaulted by a group of 20 policemen when he stopped a man from seizing his beer can without knowing that the latter was a policeman.

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