AG: insufficient evidence for homicide investigation into Teoh Beng Hock's death

KUALA LUMPUR: There is insufficient evidence to warrant a culpable homicide investigation into Teoh Beng Hock's death, says Attorney General Tommy Thomas.

He however added that this does not mean that the case is not being investigated, 

Thomas said in a letter dated July 8 to Bukit Gelugor MP Ramkarpal Singh that the instruction from the AG's Chambers to the police to open an investigation paper classified under Section 342 of the Penal Code was an administrative procedure.

"The present state of evidence is insufficient to proper a charge under Section 304 or 304A of the Penal Code.

"However, this recent classification does not prevent investigators from looking into the truth or as to who were involved in his death in any way," read the letter by Thomas that was provided to the media by Ramkarpal in a press conference at the Parliament lobby on Wednesday (July 17).

Section 342 refers to wrongful confinement while Section 304 is culpable homicide.

He said that an investigation on wrongful confinement was consistent with the Court of Appeal's finding that Teoh was not free to leave the Malaysian Anti Corruption Commission (MACC) premises although he was never placed under arrest.

"Please be assured that should there be sufficient evidence uncovered by the police, the public prosecutor is not prevented from bringing a charge under culpable homicide or any other suitable charge in order to bring those responsible to justice," added Thomas.

However, Ramkarpal said that Thomas had also sent another reply to Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng dated July 8, which read that he had met with the Inspector General of Police Datuk Seri Abdul Hamid Bador as well as the new MACC chief commissioner Latheefa Koya.

In the letter to Lim, Thomas said that the MACC and police have agreed to work together to resolve this long-standing case.

"I hope they will report to me on the latest updates of their investigations soon, and the truth behind Teoh's death will be revealed," read the letter signed by Thomas, which was also given to the media by Ramkarpal.

However, Ramkarpal said that felt that that there was enough evidence for a homicide investigation.

"We know the identities of the officers concerned, so the question is their involvement and the roles they played," he said.

He added that it was "not acceptable" to say there was insufficient evidence, and urged the AG to scrutinise the evidence before him.

Ramkarpal said that Teoh's family and him would be meeting Thomas this week to seek clarification over the matter.

Teoh, 30, who was an aide to then-Selangor exco member Ean Yong Hian Wah, was found dead on July 16, 2009 on the fifth floor corridor of Plaza Masalam in Shah Alam after giving a statement at the Selangor MACC office.

Teoh had apparently fallen to his death after he was taken in for questioning over a corruption probe.

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