Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Last officer to see Teoh alive left at 6.10am

By Hafiz Yatim

There were 10 Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) officers in the Selangor headquarters between 8pm on July 15 and 8am on July 16, the day political aide Teoh Beng Hock died.

The MACC officers included an unnamed assistant director for the state who was seen leaving the building between 4am and 8am on July 16.

Apart from the senior person, the others were believed to be two or three officers who interrogated Teoh and one recording officer.

There was also an officer in a black casual shirt, believed to be the last person to have seen Teoh alive, who left at 6.10am.

These details were revealed at Teoh's inquest this afternoon by two night security guards at Plaza Masalam where the Selangor MACC is located.

Teoh, who was summoned to the MACC office for questioning on July 15, was found dead the next day outside the building. He is believed to have fallen from the 14th floor of the building where he was questioned.

The two security guards - Wan Rosli Wan Adam (fifth witness) and Abdul Rahman Rahim (sixth witness) - identified the MACC officials from photographs taken from closed circuit television recordings from Plaza Masalam lobby counter between midnight and 8am on July 16.

They were responding to questions from lawyer Tan Hock Chuan (left), who is leading a team of prosecutors from the Attorney-General's Chambers that includes DPP Mohd Abazafree Mohd Abbas.

In one recording which was shown to Wan Rosli, Teoh was seen walking in the lobby between midnight and 4am.

Another picture was also identified by Wan Rosli as being taken during his watch and showed four MACC officers accompanying a Chinese man (not Teoh) going into the building at about 12.52am.

The line of questioning of the two guards did not mention at what time Teoh was brought into the building for questioning. Previous media reports however stated that he was interrogated for 10 hours, arriving at MACC some time during the night of July 15.

Witness: No recording of ins and outs

Wan Rosli also said that he did not record particulars of any visitors to the building during his night watch.

He said that although there was a visitors' log-book at the lobby, the MACC officers were not required to fill in particulars whenever they brought in someone.

He was responding to a question from lawyer Gobind Singh Deo, representing Teoh's family.

Gobind: When you see the visitors entering or leaving the building at such odd hours, did you not take their particulars? Their purpose of the visit? And where they are heading to?

Wan Rosli: No, I agree I did not take down their particulars (photo:left).

Gobind: How regular in a week is it that the MACC officers would go in and out of Plaza Masalam office (at such late hours)?

Wan Rosli: Once or twice a week.

Gobind: Isn't this odd that MACC is working at these hours?

Wan Rosli: I know they operate for 24 hours.

Gobind: Can you state how many outsiders were brought in by MACC officers that night?

Wan Rosli: I do not know.

Gobind: Besides MACC officers, who came in late that night?

Wan Rosli: There were three officers from KDN (the Home Ministry), sometime after midnight but they occupy another floor.

Gobind: Did your security firm conduct an internal investigation after the incident?

Wan Rosli: No

Coroner wants the visitors' log book

Meanwhile, Abdul Rahman told the inquest that he manned the lobby counter between 4am and 8am and saw some of the MACC officers leaving the building.

Among them were the MACC assistant director as well as the last officer said to have seen Teoh alive. The latter had left at 6.10am.

Coroner Azmil Muntapha Abas at the conclusion of today's inquest instructed Abdul Rahman to bring the visitors' log-book tomorrow.

Earlier, Azmil asked the investigating officer as to who was in possession of the log-book and was told the police did not have it.

Tomorrow the inquest will hear testimony from pathologists and chemists and on Friday the inquest will visit the scene of the incident.

Besides Gobind, senior lawyers Karpal Singh and Sankara Nair are also acting for the family.

Lawyers Malik Imtiaz Sarwar and Sreekant Pillai represented the Selangor government while lawyers Cheow Wee and Richard Wee appeared for the Bar Council, which is holding a watching brief.

The inquest, originally planned to end on Aug 12, looks set to be extended beyond that with about 90 witnesses to take the stand.

Teoh, 30, was found dead on July 16 outside Plaza Masalam in Shah Alam, following interrogation for 10 hours by the MACC.

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