Friday, July 24, 2009

Teoh’s death inquest on July 29

It will be held at Shah Alam magistrates court

PETALING JAYA: The inquest into the death of Teoh Beng Hock will be held from July 29 till Aug 12.

Selangor police chief Datuk Khalid Abu Bakar said that he was informed of the date by the Shah Alam magistrate’s court Friday.

The police would close the investigation into Teoh’s death before the inquest began, he told Bernama.

Meanwhile, Attorney-general Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail said an inquiry by the magistrate under the Criminal Procedure Code (CPC) was the right recourse, as the CPC was a specific legislation that made provision for a death inquiry.

He said he had acted under Section 339(1) of the CPC to direct the magistrate to hold an inquiry into the cause of and the circumstances connected with the death of Teoh Beng Hock and the magistrate is duty-bound to hold an inquiry.

He said a magistrate’s inquiry was more appropriate than a Royal Commission of Inquiry.

“It is only proper that a court of law determines the cause of death and matters related thereto,” he said in a statement.

He added that under Section 333 of the CPC, a magistrate can hold an inquiry into the cause of death and holding a similar inquiry by the Royal Commission would be duplicitous in such instance.

“In the case of Teoh Beng Hock, it is undoubtedly clear that the adequate recourse and appropriate venue are provided by the law for cases of this nature,” he said.

Gani said the formation of the Royal Commission was rightful and lawful for the purpose of inquiring into the procedural aspects of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission in carrying out investigations.

Citing Section 2 of the Commissions of Enquiry Act 1950, he said it made clear reference to the inquiry into the conduct and management of government officers and departments or for the public welfare.

“Therefore, it cannot be overstretched to cover an inquiry into the death of this nature, wherein an inquiry by the magistrate under the CPC is more appropriate and sanctioned by the law,” he said.

Meanwhile, a cut on Teoh Beng Hock’s wrist provides another twist to the investigation into his death.

The investigators are trying to establish whether the cut was self-inflicted, or if Teoh was coerced into cutting his wrist, or if the injuries were sustained during the fall.

The injuries were found on Teoh’s right wrist, and Teoh is said to be right-handed.

Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Musa Hassan confirmed there was a laceration on Teoh’s wrist.

“But we have not drawn any conclusion. We are still awaiting the pathology report before wrapping up the case,’’ he said.

Two pathologists from University Malaya Medical Centre and Tengku Ampuan Rahimah Hospital in Klang revisited the site of incident to establish certain facts.

Musa said investigations should be completed soon as the inquest was set to commence next week.

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