Saturday, August 15, 2009

Gobind tears into suicide theory

SHAH ALAM: A lawyer challenged a suggestion by a senior forensic pathologist that Teoh Beng Hock may have committed suicide.

Gobind Singh Deo, who is holding a watching brief for the political aide’s family, suggested that Dr Khairul Azman Ibrahim was not able to factually support his contention on the possible cause of Teoh’s death.

Gobind, who stood after government-appointed counsel Tan Hock Chuan had completed questioning Dr Khairul Azman, asked the forensic pathologist if he had measured Teoh’s feet.

When he said he did not as this was not needed in the case, Gobind asked: “So, you couldn’t tell if his shoes were too loose for him as you didn’t measure his feet. In this particular case the shoe was found far away from the body. How far was it?

(Teohs right shoe was off his feet when his remains were found.)

“I didn’t measure,” Dr Khairul Azman, who is a consultant pathologist with Klang Tengku Ampuan Rahimah Hospital, said.

Gobind: It’s good to measure isn’t it? You cannot tell us how the shoe got there. You are in no position to tell us!

Dr Khairul Azman: It could have come off when he fell.

Gobind then said that logically, if the shoe was tight, this would not have happened.

When he asked if there was a possibility that Teoh was thrown out first and then the shoe, Dr Khairul Azman replied: “Yes, there is a possibility.”

Gobind: In that case, it is indicative of a homicide. Did you address that possibility?

Dr Khairul Azman: Yes, there is a possibility.

Gobind: Did you test the shoe for fingerprints? Dr Khairul Azman: No

Gobind: Is it significant?

Dr Khairul Azman: Yes

Gobind: Why didn’t you do it?

Dr Khairul Azman: I expected the police to do it.

Gobind: But you didn’t get them to do it because it would have indicated a homicide. Were you covering it up?

Dr Khairul Azman: No, I am not covering up.

Gobind then asked Dr Khairul Azman how he reckoned Teoh had come out of the window and the pathologist stepped out of the witness stand and demonstrated how he thought Teoh had jumped.

(While doing so, he demonstrated how he thought Teoh would have stood on the bottom ledge and gripped its top ledge.)

When Gobind asked Dr Khairul Azman if there would have been shoe prints or hand prints on the window frame if Teoh had jumped off in that manner, the pathologist agreed, adding that there was a possibility the footprints were not noticed.

“You said in your theory that he stood there and jumped. You went there, there were no footprints,” Gobing pointed out.

He suggested that Dr Khairul Azman had given theories that he could not support with facts.

“In this case your theory is demolished. It was not suicide, sir. Your theories come to naught. You are wrong!” said Gobind.

Dr Khairul Azman said he did not agree as one of the reasons there was no footprints was because Teoh had walked on the carpeted floor which had no dust.

Gobind: But you didn’t check.

Dr Khairul Azman: No.

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