13 Malaysian policemen questioned over leaked information from religious school fire probe

The damaged Darul Quran Ittifaqiyah religious school in Kuala Lumpur on Sept 15, 2017. PHOTO: THE STAR / ASIA NEWS NETWORK

KUALA LUMPUR - Malaysian police recorded statements from 13 police officers to facilitate an investigation into leaked information on the arrest of seven suspects in connection with a fire at a religious school last week that killed 23 people.

The information leaked included facts of the case and several photographs of the suspects which were in circulation in the social media before an 8pm press conference by the city police chief on Saturday (Sept 16), Bernama news agency reported.

The New Straits Times on Monday quoted the inspector-general of police as saying a police task force will investigate the leak.

"I have ordered the city police to form a task force to investigate this matter and identify individuals who had leaked the confidential information linked to the case.

"If we find that police officers are involved, we will take action not only on the department level, but also based on criminal offence," Tan Sri Mohamad Fuzi Harun was quoted as saying.

Kuala Lumpur CID chief Rusdi Md Isa said the matter was being investigated under Section 203A of the Penal Code and Section 233 of the Communications and Multimedia Act.

"However, no arrests have been made over the information leakage," he told Bernama on Sunday night.

The early morning fire last Thursday at the Darul Quran Ittifaqiyah religious school in Kuala Lumpur claimed the lives of 21 students and two teachers.

The police had detained seven youths aged between 11 and 18. Six of them had tested positive for drugs and are being remanded for a week until Sept 22, said Bernama.

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