Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Bar Council to keep tabs on Teoh inquest


KUALA LUMPUR: The Bar Council and the public are keen to know the cause of political aide Teoh Beng Hock’s death as the inquest begins today.

Council president Ragunath Kesavan said the inquest must ascertain if Teoh’s death was the result of any foul play, suicide or accident.

“Although the pathologist and chemist reports are crucial in the inquest, of more importance are the testimonies of the officers involved in the questioning of Teoh and the availability of documents.

“However, if the coroner decides there was foul play, then the Attorney-General must order an investigation and bring to book those responsible for Teoh’s death.”

Ragunath said the inquest must also look into the chain of events from the time Teoh was at his office to his arrival at the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) office in Plaza Masalam in Shah Alam until the time of his death.

He added that the MACC must be transparent and prepared to tell all.

The public wanted to know if Teoh was still under MACC custody until the time of his death or was he released at 3.45am as claimed by the commission.

“If he was released then why didn’t he go home? These are among the questions that need to be answered by those involved in the questioning of Teoh and why question him for such a long period of time?

“The truth must prevail,” he said, adding the council would be keeping a watching brief in the inquest.

Attorney-General Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail said he would wait for the outcome of the inquest before deciding on anything.

He said the laws were very clear and he would do whatever was needed accordingly.

Lawyer Gobind Singh Deo said professional views have been sought during the examination of documents in the inquest.

“We have gone through the documents provided to us by the prosecution team and have sought professional advice,” he said when contacted yesterday.

Among the documents were the post-mortem, forensics, toxicology and criminology reports, closed-circuit television (CCTV) clips and DNA samples.

Gobind Singh, who is holding a watching brief for Teoh’s family, said the team representing the deceased’s family was prepared for the inquest.

The inquest was postponed for a week after the family and state government lawyers requested to go through some documents. The coroner is Azmil Muntapha Abas.

Teoh, 30, was found dead on July 16 on the fifth floor of Plaza Masalam the morning after he was interviewed by the MACC, which has its state office on the 14th floor of the building.

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