Family of Nepali shot by constable want more details after autopsy shows he was shot in ear

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 23 April, 2009, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 23 April, 2009, 12:00am

A bullet wound was found in the left ear of a Nepali man who was shot dead by a policeman last month, according to an autopsy report released to the victim's family yesterday.

The director of Hong Kong Human Rights Monitor, Law Yuk-kai, said it was strange that a bullet wound had been found inside the left ear of 31-year-old Dil Bahadur Limbu, and more information, including photographs and notes taken by the government's forensic pathologist, should be provided in order to find out the truth.

Fermi Wong Wai-fun - the director of Hong Kong Unison, a non-government organisation focusing on ethnic minority issues - said the evidence raised suspicions about whether the policeman had intentionally targeted the victim's head. 'We request an independent, thorough and professional investigation to find out the truth, so as to uphold justice in this case,' she said.

Meanwhile, the lawyer representing Limbu's family, Michael Vidler, criticised the Coroner's Office's delay in providing significant information in the autopsy report, which had been requested by the family two weeks ago, saying it had meant the family had been unable to hold a funeral and burial.

'We had specifically asked the Coroner's Office for photos (of the wounds) and pathology notes, so that we could ask other pathologists to see whether there was a need to request a second autopsy,' Mr Vidler said.

However, only three pages of the autopsy report, without photos and pathology notes, were released to Limbu's family yesterday.

Limbu was shot dead by a policeman in Ho Man Tin after he allegedly attacked the constable with a chair during an identity check on March 17.

Limbu's family asked for the photos at a press conference on April 8 and submitted an application for them right afterwards.

'My client, the poor lady with a five-year-old daughter, was left unable to bury her late husband,' Mr Vidler said. 'She really wants to proceed with her late husband's burial as soon as possible.'

He said he was annoyed by the response from the Coroner's Office and would ask it to release the additional information.

When Limbu's widow and daughter went to Kwai Chung public mortuary on Tuesday to identify his body, Mrs Limbu became very sad and emotional after seeing her husband's body and noticing the wound in his left ear.

The Coroners Ordinance says the office should comply with family members' requests for information before an inquest.

The Coroner's Office said yesterday it had yet to receive the death investigation report from the police. Police are required to submit an investigation report to the coroner within six weeks of a death, a deadline that expires next Tuesday.

Hong Kong Human Rights Monitor and Unison Law were disappointed by the delay in providing important information, including photos.

'The arrangement on the autopsy report is unacceptable and totally ignores public and family concerns in the case,' Ms Wong said. 'We are really worried about the fairness of the investigation by police.'