Teoh’s inquest: Coroner hears that allegations in letter not substatntiated

  • Nation
  • Monday, 24 Aug 2009

SHAH ALAM: Several allegations in the mysterious letter which derailed the Teoh Beng Hock inquest last week could not be substantiated, a lawyer said.

This was revealed at the inquest into the political aides death by government-appointed counsel Tan Hock Chuan on Monday.

Tan told coroner Azmil Muntapha Abas there was no evidence to prove or support allegations that the Selangor Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) deputy director had ordered his subordinates not to involve his name in the case involving Teoh.

The second allegation that the deputy director used his own interrogation technique was investigated and there was no evidence to prove or support the allegation, he said.

The letter had alleged that the senior officer’s method of interrogating people was to hold the front portion of their belts, carry them a few times before shaking them.

(Teoh’s belt had a tear at the buckle region and government forensic pathologist Dr Khairul Azman Ibrahim had opined there was a probability the deceased had been held by the belt.)

Teoh, who was the political secretary to Selangor executive councilor Ean Yong Hian Wah, had gone to the MACC office on the 14th floor of Plaza Masalam in Shah Alam for questioning over the alleged irregular disbursement of state funds on July 15.

He was found dead on the 5th floor service corridor of the building the following day.

Azmil Muntapha had ordered that the letter be investigated when it first made its appearance last Wednesday.

The letter dated Aug 5 and postmarked Aug 10 was handed over by an individual to counsel holding a watching brief for Teoh’s family Gobind Singh Deo.

Tan also said the allegation that the deputy director had given his DNA sample in the privacy of his room instead of collectively with his colleagues, as alleged in the letter, was also untrue.

He said Chemistry Department DNA scientist Dr Seah Lay Hong had verified this, as she had been present when all the MACC officers had been swabbed.

Tan said police investigations were also not able to prove or support the allegation that the deputy director had ordered his subordinates to wipe the area around the window from which Teoh is alleged to have plunged to his death.

However, the inquest was told the deputy director had not punched out when he left the state MACC office on July 16.

But Tan said CCTV footage showed the man leaving the building at 6.26am.

The letter had alleged that the said officer had not punched out when he left the MACC office at 6.10am on July 16.

Tan added that the officer would be questioned over this when his turn came to testify.

Tan also told Azmil Muntapha that DNA samples were also taken again from the 12 MACC officers, including the deputy director, since the emergence of the letter and the findings matched the previous results.

This meant that the swab taken from the 12, including the deputy director, do not match that of Male 1 and unknown male contributor, said Tan.

Two unknown male DNA samples were harvested from Teoh’s belt and blazer and both did not match any of the 157 swabs taken and tested.

Meanwhile, Gobind told the court that investigating officer ASP Ahmad Nazri Zainal should have revealed the findings to the inquest instead of Tan.

“We are not required to accept it just like that. I have the right to cross-examine the investigating officer,” Gobind said.

Tan and deputy public prosecutor Datuk Abdul Razak Musa, who is holding a watching brief for the MACC, meanwhile, protested the letter being included into the proceedings and did not want it marked as an exhibit as requested by Gobind.

Abdul Razak wanted Gobind to rescind the letter from the inquest, as there were no provisions in the law for such documents.

“Don’t be influenced by something that may not be true. We are here to assist the court and not to defend or prosecute,” said Abdul Razak urging Azmil Muntapha to disregard the contents of the letter for the time being and not to entertain “poison pen letters”.

Azmil Muntapha then said he would be making a ruling regarding the letters status in the inquest if there was evidence showing that the letter is relevant after the witnesses have testified.

Related Stories: Teoh Inquest: Letter names officer and BN leader Teoh Inquest: Mystery letter adds new twist Teoh Inquest : No signs of assault found Teoh Inquest: Focus on facial injuries Teoh Inquest Day 10: Dr Prashant says Teoh likely committed suicide Pathologist: Teoh may have jumped

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