Saturday, July 25, 2009

Utusan errs, but cops quiz Teoh's buddy instead

By Andrew Ong

A minor mix-up of dates by Malay daily Utusan Malaysia resulted in a witness in the police probe on Teoh Beng Hock's death being recalled by the police for questioning.

Woo Chuan Seng, Teoh's best friend, told the press on Thursday that he last spoke to the deceased on July 15 - a day before his tragic death.

But unlike all other media, Utusan Malaysia had erroneously reported that the duo spoke on July 16 and for this, Woo received instructions late last night to appear before the Section 11 Shah Alam police station to clarify the dates.

Contacted today, Woo's legal counsel Lim Lip Eng let out a big sigh over the episode and chided the police for not contacting the Utusan's journalist instead.

“My client lives far away and by coming here, he has been inconvenienced a second time because of mistake by someone else,” said Lim, who is also Segambut MP.

“Where is the professionalism? Why are they so afraid to call up the Utusan reporter?” he added.

Lim, who accompanied Woo to the police station, said he had posed this question to the investigating officer, but was met with a wide smile as a reply.

All over in 15 minutes

According to Lim, the investigating officer said the police could not obtain clarification over the phone from Woo because he was required to sign certain documents.

The whole process today was over in about 15 minutes after an additional statement was recorded from Woo and after he showed the investigating officer - for the second time - a text message from Teoh on his phone.

On July 15, Teoh sent Woo a text message at 7.30am to ask him to be his best man at his wedding slated for Oct 3 and called him an hour later to enquire if the latter agreed.

Woo said he agreed to Teoh's request and the latter sounded very jovial.

Teoh, was to be have his civil mariage registered to two-month pregnant Soh Cher Wei, 28, on July 17.

Teoh was found dead on July 16 at the fifth floor landing of Plaza Masalam, Shah Alam several hours after being questioned at the Selangor Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission on the 14th of the same building.

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