Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Inquest (Day 5): Death due to fall, no injuries of struggle or self-defense

3pm: The inquest adjourns to Wednesday.

1.03pm: Court breaks off for lunch.

12.43pm: Dr Khairul: Based on the bad smell of the body, Teoh could have died less than 36 hrs before the post mortem. Post mortem was done at about noon on July 17.

Replying to Tan Hock Guan, the government-appointed lawyer assisting the inquest, Dr Khairul said the post mortem showed no obvious injuries of struggle.

There were no obvious injuries of self defense that could be seen on Teoh except for the injuries due to the impact of the fall, he said.

12.25pm: Dr Khairul: Cause of death due to multiple injuries as a result of fall from a high place. Teoh landed on his feet and slanted to the right based on broken ribs.

Reporters and members of the public stand up to see Dr Khairul demonstrating the position Teoh could have landed on the ground.

11.33am: Court resumes with Dr Khairul's report. Teoh's body had several lacerations and fractures.

10.40am: Court in recess.

10.05am: Coroner Azmil asks Dr Khairul whether he can read autopsy report in English as requested by interested parties so that no details are left out. Dr Khairul had carried out a second autopsy on Teoh.

Reading his report, Dr Khairul said Teoh sustained multiple injuries mostly to the right side of his body. A bone fragment was found in a sock worn by Teoh on his right foot.

9.30am: Dr Khairul Azman Ibrahim, 51, senior consultant at Forensics Department Hospital Tengku Ampuan Rahimah, called to the stand.

SHAH ALAM: The inquest into the death of Teoh Beng Hock resumes Tuesday.

Monday’s hearing was cut short to allow pathologists and forensics experts to test two stains on the stairway between level 14 and 15 of Plaza Masalam.

Gobind Singh Deo, who is holding a watching brief for Teoh's family told reporters Monday, that the stains were not blood.

Results of the tests on the stains are expected to be made known in court Tuesday before Coroner Azmil Muntapha Abas.

Teoh, 30, political secretary to Selangor Exco Ean Yong Hian Wah was found dead on July 16 on level 5 of Plaza Masalam after giving a statement as a witness into alleged abuse of state government allocation at the Selangor Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission office.

In other developments, Thai pathologist Dr Pornthip Rojanasunand, Director of the Central Institute of Forensic Science, Thailand, whose expertise had been requested by the state administration, would not be at the inquest.

She would be represented by her associates Dr Triyarith Temahivong, Chief of Clinical Forensic Medicine at the institute, and Police Lft. Col. Somchai Chailermsooksant, forensic scientist and Chief of the institute’s Crime Scene Unit.

Last week, DNA scientist Dr Seah Lay Hong told the court that it was possible that force was exerted on Teoh just before he died, suggesting that his death could be “not accidental”.

She said it was a hypothesis that force was applied at the tear region of the belt worn by Teoh in order for the rupture to occur.

Dr Seah, of the Chemistry Department, said it was “one of the many possibilities” that Teoh may have been held back by the belt for the tear to have occurred.

Dr Seah also said that swabs from Teoh’s damaged belt had the DNA of two other unknown males apart from his own. One of the unknown males was tagged as Male 1.

The DNA profiles of 157 individuals were compared with that of the two unknown males but none of them matched, she said.

Dr Seah also said that DNA profiles from swabs taken from the back outer side of a blazer consisted of a mix of male DNA types matching that of Teoh and Male 1.

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