Teoh inquest: Mystery man talks of torture (Updated)


  • Nation
  • Wednesday, 09 Sep 2009

SHAH ALAM: The ‘mystery witness’ at the inquest into political aide Teoh Beng Hock’s death told the court he was tortured and abused by Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission officers in September last year.

T. Sivanesan, the 23-year-old assistant manager of Puncak Rezeki Makmur Sdn Bhd, took the stand as the 20th witness on Wednesday.

He lodged a report on Sept 11 last year, about 10 months before Teoh’s death. He was a suspect in an MACC invesitgation, while Teoh was a witness.

In the report, he alleged abuse and torture by MACC officers during interrogation, including being hit with a steel rod wrapped in newspaper and being stripped naked.

Teoh, who was the political secretary to Selangor executive councilor Ean Yong Hian Wah, was summoned to the MACC office located on the 14th floor of Plaza Masalam here on July 15 to be questioned over the alleged irregular disbursement of state funds.

He was found dead at the building’s fifth floor service corridor the following day.

On Wednesday, when questioned by Gobind Singh Deo, who is holding a watching brief for Teoh’s family, Sivanesan said three men known only as Zulkifli, Ashraf and “J” went to his house in September last year and asked him to follow them to help in an investigation.

He said he was detained at the Selangor MACC office at Plaza Masalam from Sept 4 to 9 in 2008.

He said that at the MACC office, he saw an officer wearing glasses wrapping a newspaper around a steel rod. The officer then put the rod down and slapped his cheek, saying, “You ni keras kepala (You are stubborn).”

Sivanesan said he was asked to strip to his under-garments. The officer known as Ashraf then started to kick, punch and slap him repeatedly while he was handcuffed.

He added that his ankles were also handcuffed after he became more aggressive when expletives touching on race were uttered.

Sivanesan then showed the court a piece torn underwear which he said he was wearing when he was beaten on his private parts.

He said he was treated for injuries sustained in the head, kidneys and private parts at Hospital Tengku Ampuan Rahimah.

Sivanesan said he lodged complaints with the police, civil advocacy non-governmental organisation Suaram, the human rights commission Suhakam and Datuk T. Murugiah at the Public Complaints Bureau.

He said as far as he knows, only the bureau investigated the matter.

Court adjourned to 9am Thursday.

Here’s what transpired earlier Wednesday:

1.40pm: Court adjourns to 9am Thursday.

1.35pm: Questioning ends. Sivanesan gets up and seats with family at the public gallery.

1.23pm: Sivanesan complained to Suaram, police, Suhakam and to (Datuk) T. Murugiah at the Public Complaints Bureau.

He said as far as he knows, only the bureau investigated the matter.

1.20pm: Sivanesan stands up and shows to court a torn underwear he wore when he was beaten at his private parts.

1.15pm: Sivanesan said he was detained at the Selangor MACC office at Plaza Masalam from Sept 4 to 9 in 2008.

He said he was treated for injuries sustained at head, kidneys and private parts at Hospital Tengku Ampuan Rahimah.

12.50pm: Sivanesan said he was asked to strip to his under garments.

He said Ashraf then started to kick, punch and slap him repeatedly while he was handcuffed.

He added that his ankles were also handcuffed after he became more aggressive when expletives touching on race were uttered.

12.47pm: Sivanesan says he was taken to MACC office. He saw an officer wearing glasses wrapping a steel rod with newspaper.

The steel rod, he said, is the one seen on ceilings of buildings under construction.

The officer, he said, then put the rod down and slapped sivanasan’s cheek saying: “You ni keras kepala” (You are stubborn).

12.34pm: T. Sivanesan, 23, takes the stand as the 20th witness in the inquest.

Questioned by Gobind, he says three men known only as Zulkifli, Ashraf and “J” went to his house and asked him to follow them to help in investigation.

12.31pm: Coroner says the witness can be called to take the stand and MACC can file in its application for a review at the same time.

12.13pm: Abdul Razak said he is going to apply to the High Court for a review of coroner's ruling on Tuesday that the report is relevant and the witness can testify.

Malik Imtiaz Sarwar, representing the Selangor state government gets up saying that Abdul Razak could have thought of doing that on Tuesday.

"This is a last minute effort to derail the inquest," he said.

12.10pm: Gobind says the court had been stagnant for two days because of Abdul Razak.

“We are prepared to proceed. You said Ashraf’s name wasn’t in the report. You told us to prepare our witness; when we have, you say it is irrelevant,” stated Gobind.

12.05pm: Abdul Razak says there should not be a problem for witnesses to come to court to testify.

Questioning the mystery witness’ seat in the public gallery, he said:

"Maybe they want to expose his identity today.”

To this Gobind stands up and shouts: “What are you trying to say?”

11.50am: Gobind said he cannot guarantee that the witness would be available the next time he is called to testify because most witnesses are reluctant to appear in public on allegations against the MACC.

“They don’t even want to give their names. But today we have a witness willing to come forward and is sitting here,” he said.

11.40am: Court resumes with coroner saying that he did mention MACC’s stand that the report is irrelevant. However, that is not his stand on the matter.

10.53am: Court takes a short break for coroner to view recordings of Tuesday’s proceedings.

10.25am: Gobind points out that the 19th witness, Selangor MACC officer Mohd Ashraff Mohd Yunus, 25, was not called by the police.

"What pending investigation is he (Abdul Razak) talking about if the witness was not called by the police," asked Gobind.

10.20am: Coroner Azmil Muntapha Abas says he is standing by his decision made on Tuesday to allow him to testify as his report has relevance to the facts of the inquest.

He, however, also agrees with Abdul Razak that the case in the report is still under investigation.

10.15am: Datuk Abdul Razak Muda, who is holding a watching brief for the MACC says that before court allows the mystery witness to testify, it must take into consideration that the report was lodged 10 months before Teoh's death, which is too huge a gap.

10.12am: Counsel Gobind Singh says the mystery witness is in court and ready to testify.

9.45am: Day 18 of Teoh’s inquest begins. The "mystery witness" is in court sitting at the public gallery wearing a white shirt and grey pants. He is seated with his family.

This is considered odd as witnesses are supposed to sit at a room specially allocated to them.

Related Stories: Teoh would not speak, looked worried, says officer Koh: MACC boss should not comment on specific cases Teoh Inquest: Grilling over MACC 'torture' report CCTVs for all MACC offices ‘Torture’ used at MACC office Councillor denies row with Teoh Officer: I did not hear people arguing Selangor exco man questions MACC’s investigations method Officer claims Teoh was on the take MACC man claims Teoh had an argument with Kajang councillor Cops ordered to look into invoices and cautioned statement Teoh Inquest: Officer asleep during interrogation Teoh Beng Hock Inquest Day 14: Testimony of alleged kickbacks expunged

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