Teoh's family wants police probe into pre-fall injuries
~ S Pathmawathy
Lawyer Gobind Singh Deo, representing the family of the deceased political aide Teoh Beng Hock, asserted that attorney-general Abdul Gani Patail must open up police investigations into the findings of the inquest which was held following Teoh's suspicious death.
“Have the police investigated the pre-fall neck injuries that were accepted by the coroner? The decision clearly indicates that something must have happened to Teoh Beng Hock when he was being interrogated.
“I would have hoped that the cabinet would have picked up on that (but no). The is no point of having a royal commission without knowing what happen to Teoh before his death,” stressed Gobind.
Gobind (right in pic) told reporters today that the way the AG intends to resolve the outstanding issue on why coroner Azmil Muntapha Abas had come to an open verdict is suspicious.
“What is it that the AG is unhappy about with the coroner's open verdict in the Teoh inquest? Does he want a revised verdict that it was suicide or is he going to back us up for a verdict of homicide? I want to know, what is the AG dissatisfied about?”
Earlier today, Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak announced the setting-up of a Royal Commission of Inquiry to investigate the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission's (MACC) probing procedures and whether there were any violations of human rights when Teoh was hauled up for questioning two years ago.
The18-month-long inquest ended on Wednesday and coroner Azmil delivered an open verdict, leaving the Teoh family devastated.
Teoh, 30, was to an aide to Selangor executive councillor Ean Yong Hian Wah. On July 15, he was interrogated by the Selangor MACC pertaining to investigation on his boss regarding alleged misuse of state funds.
On July 16, 2009, after spending the night at the Selangor MACC office on the 14th floor of Plaza Masalam in Shah Alam, he was found dead at about 1.30pm on the fifth floor service landing of the same building.
Najib stated that it is unlikely that the terms of reference of the royal commission would include a probe into Teoh's cause of death.
Instead, he said that the AG is seeking of a review of the coroner decision in the Shah Alam High Court to come to ensure some sort of “closure” to the matter.
'Strange to set up a royal panel without knowing the cause'
According to Gobind, the royal commission can look into the said injuries to Teoh's neck prior to the fall, as in the case of former deputy prime minister Anwar Ibrahim's black eye incident.
“As I said earlier you can't just look into procedures and whether was a breach of human rights if you do not know what happened.
“That is why I find it somewhat strange that a royal panel has been ordered in circumstances where there is no definitive answer to what has happened to Teoh when he was there,” said Gobind.
He insisted that the cause of Teoh's death must be determined if it is neither suicide nor homicide.
“Only when you are sure and certain of the events that unfolded when Teoh was there (at Plaza Masalam), it is only then you apply the rules and regulations to this set of facts to decide if there has been any rules offended, laws broken or human rights violations.
“So to say you are going to look into one but not the other would make nonsense out of it,” he reiterated.
He also added that the AG's move to seek a review of the coroner's decision was unclear.
He explained that the formation and execution of the royal panel will only be of any effect if the file are opened up again.
“There must be an investigative process first. There must some person who would go about the fact-finding mission before those reports could be sent to the coroner or the royal commission of inquiry because the coroner is not going to go down to the ground and ask questions, neither are the members of the royal commission. It is the duty of the police,” said Gobind.
Following that, the coroner or the panel members will look into the fresh facts ascertained by investigations before concluding, he added.
The deceased's sister Teoh Lee Lan (left in pic), who was also at the press conference, pleaded for the prime minister to look into the fact that her brother's cause of death has yet to ascertained.
“I am very disappointed with the announcement that the royal commission will only investigate MACC's procedures. We want answers on why Beng Hock died in MACC's custody,” she said, crying.
“Who is responsible for his injuries? We want to know. The (MACC) officers are lying. You must tell us who is responsible.
“We want answers,” she demanded, overcome by anger.
Taken from Malaysiakini