Friday, August 7, 2009

‘No traces of drugs or alcohol in samples taken from Teoh’

SHAH ALAM: There were no traces of prescription drugs or alcohol in the stomach, urine and blood samples taken from the remains of political aide Teoh Beng Hock.

The inquest into his death was told that toxicology tests on Teoh’s biological specimens were also conducted to determine if there were traces of poison or volatile drugs in them.

Chemist Zaihara Awang, who is the seventh witness, said she used a testing method which could identify 300,000 chemical compounds to test one sample each of Teoh’s urine and stomach contents and two samples of his blood.

Lawyer Gobind Singh Deo, who is holding a watching brief for Teoh’s family, asked Zaihara if she had thought of other possibilities apart from merely testing the samples for drugs, alcohol and poison.

“No, I did what was required by police and relied on case history. In this case, there was no indication that the deceased had been exposed to poison such as in the form of gas,” she said.

When coroner Azmil Muntapha Abas asked Zaihara if it could be detected from the toxicology report if Teoh was pushed to his death, the chemist replied the test would not indicate that, although she added she was not experienced enough to answer the question.

The inquest also heard that a test to detect the adrenaline content in Teoh’s blood, which would have determined if he had panicked before his death, was not carried out.Zaihara explained that this was because the police had not instructed her to do so.

Her scope of duty, she said, only involved testing biological specimens to determine if there were drugs, alcohol and poison in them.

Saiful Fazamil Mohd Ali, another chemist, testified that a piece of window latch found near Teoh’s body appeared to be the same variety with the ones from the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission office windows. However, he could not say for sure if the broken piece of latch had come from one of the commission’s windows.

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