Coroner's inquiry into death of Changi inmate will not be reopened: AGC

The coroner's inquiry into the death of Dinesh Raman Chinnaiah, an inmate in Changi Prison three years ago, will not be reopened, said the Attorney-General's Chambers (AGC). -- TNP FILE PHOTO: KELVIN CHNG
The coroner's inquiry into the death of Dinesh Raman Chinnaiah, an inmate in Changi Prison three years ago, will not be reopened, said the Attorney-General's Chambers (AGC). -- TNP FILE PHOTO: KELVIN CHNG

The coroner's inquiry into the death of an inmate in Changi Prison three years ago will not be reopened, said the Attorney-General's Chambers (AGC) on Thursday.

In a letter addressed to lawyer M. Ravi of LF Violet Netto, who represents the deceased's family, the AGC said there were "no new matters raised" since the inquiry was halted that warranted further investigations, or a reopening of the inquiry. AGC added that the cause of, and circumstances connected to, the death of Dinesh Raman Chinnaiah, 21, have already been placed before the court in the criminal proceedings of senior prison officer Lim Kwo Yin, 36. An inquiry began, but was discontinued after Lim had pleaded guilty and was fined $10,000 for causing death by negligence.

Dinesh, who was convicted of rioting and theft, had kicked a warden in his abdomen in an unprovoked attack on Sept 27, 2010. It took eight officers - including Lim, who was the supervising officer - half an hour to restrain him.

Dinesh was eventually put on the ground with his head to the side, in an isolation cell. He was left in the prone position, thereby restricting the respiratory movements of his chest and abdomen.

Mr Ravi, in a statement released on Thursday night, said Dinesh's family "was devastated to hear the Attorney-General's decision", adding that the Attorney-General should call for a full inquiry in the public's interest "and not Dinesh's mother having to do so".

The Home Affairs Ministry said in a statement on Thursday that the Government had, following the conviction of Mr Lim on July 19, accepted liability for Dinesh's death and will compensate the family. "This point was also made by Second Minister for Home Affairs S Iswaran in Parliament on 12 Aug 2013," said a ministry spokesman. "Discussions with the family are on-going. The government remains committed to explain any issues arising from this tragic incident and to do whatever it can to assist the family."