PETALING JAYA: Political aide Teoh Beng Hock was driven to commit suicide by “aggressive, relentless, oppressive and unscrupulous interrogation” by several Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) officers, the Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) report concluded.
In the report that was released to the public yesterday, it said unlawful intimidatory tactics used by certain MACC officers during the interrogation process “would have had grave consequences upon Teoh's mind and would have been a culminating factor that drove him to suicide.”
The report singled out the acts of three individuals Hishamuddin Hashim, Mohd Anuar Ismail and Mohd Ashraf Mohd Yunus “most probably in the form of another round of intensive interrogation” to coerce Teoh into making a statement that it was Seri Kembangan assemblyman Ean Yong Hian Wah who directed him (Teoh) to commit unlawful acts in handling constituency allocations.
It said the fourth interrogation session by the three “must have been the straw that broke the camel's back.”
Teoh, 30, the political secretary to Ean Yong, was found dead on July 16, 2009, on the fifth floor corridor of Plaza Masalam, Shah Alam, Selangor, after giving a statement at the Selangor MACC office on the 14th floor of the same building.
The setting up of the commission was announced by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak on Jan 26 after the Coroner's Court delivered an open verdict.
“This session must have been very taxing on Teoh both physically and mentally,” it said.
The commission also disagreed with Thai pathologist Dr Pornthip Rojanasunan's findings.
It said Teoh had been deprived of sleep throughout that night and into the morning.
The report said Teoh, known to be hardworking, diligent, responsible, devoted to his family, loved children and was faithful to his boss Ean Yong, had shifted from low-risk to high-risk for suicide when he was taken in by Mohd Anuar to the Selangor MACC office for investigation.
It said Teoh was cut off from the outside world when he was not allowed to see Ean Yong and his lawyer M. Manoharan.
Taking away Teoh's mobile phone, which he often found companionship in and used to relieve stress, would have meant robbing him of his means to reality and sanity, the report said.
“Thus, for the first time in his life, Teoh found himself totally and completely isolated from the outside world and thrust into desolation,” it said.
The report said another factor which had serious implications on Teoh was surrendering his laptop to MACC officers and being forced to divulge the password to his e-mail account.
“As this held the key to many things private, Teoh must have felt that his privacy was violated under duress and the secrets of his life were in the open.
“This was a gross violation of Teoh's personal right, which would have compounded his anxiety and worry,” it said.
The RCI also expressed its heartfelt sympathies to Teoh's family.
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*Full report of RCI findings
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