Friday, August 7, 2009

Lawyers clash during questioning of chemist

SHAH ALAM: Two lawyers locked horns during the cross-examination of witnesses at the inquest into the death of Teoh Beng Hock.

Tan Hock Chuan, who is lead counsel assisting coroner Azmil Muntapha Abas, and Gobind Singh Deo, who is holding a watching brief for Teoh’s family got onto each others’ nerves yesterday.

Tan jumped up when Gobind asked chemist Zaihara Awang if she knew about the case’s background.

Gobind asked Zaihara if she had not read the newspapers or knew of the speculation that he was tolak (pushed) out of the window.

Tan stepped in at this juncture and told Gobind not to talk about tolak.

He said Zaihara was a chemist and that line of questioning was not fair to her.

Tan also told Azmil Muntapha that questions not relevant to the witness should not be allowed.

“Why are we here if we cannot say tolak, held, and interrogation. What is the point of bringing experts from overseas?” Gobind asked.

Azmil Muntapha said that questions must be within the purview of the chemist’s scope of work.

“I have no problem with such questions but it depends on the witness. If its the MACC officers, go ahead. This is a chemist,” said Tan.

When Gobind asked to be allowed two more questions, Tan thundered: “Confine to the rules!”

Gobind retorted: “Calling in witnesses and asking them to read reports. We are doing their job by asking the questions.”

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