Brunei man charged in arson case dies in police custody

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN - Prosecution yesterday indicated they will withdraw the arson charge which caused the death of a toddler as the suspect had died while in police custody.

The deceased Remia Hj Abd Raub, a 32-year-old local man, was arrested at 8pm on September 23 and he was later charged with setting fire to a house in Kg Pancha Delima 2, Jalan Muara Berakas, by lighting a mattress with a lighter, knowing that it would cause damage to the property and in doing so, caused the death of a two-year-old girl.

The charge under section 435(1) Penal Code, Chapter 22, carries the death penalty.

Remia was brought to the Magistrates’ Court on September 25 and the defendant was ordered to be remanded at the Central Police Station in Bandar Seri Begawan for two weeks pending further police investigation as prosecution believed that the defendant is involved in two other potential arson cases.

However, during the proceedings yesterday, deputy public prosecutor Dk Siti Nurul Fairuz Pg Rosli applied to withdraw the charge against Remia in view of his death.

The deceased’s defence counsels Roy and Rajiv Prabhakaran is seeking for an inquest to be held on grounds that the deceased’s family needs to know the circumstances and cause of death.

The counsel went on to say that it was vital for the family to find out what happened.

“The family is entitled to some assurance,” said the counsel.

The presiding senior magistrate Lailatul Zubaidah Hj Mohd Hussain scheduled for a further mention of the case on October 26, for prosecution to produce Remia’s death certificate and post mortem report during that court session.

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