Friday, August 28, 2009

Officer: I did not hear people arguing


SHAH ALAM: A Selangor Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) officer testified that he did not hear people arguing at his office toilet on July 16 – the day Teoh Beng Hock’s body was found.

Mohd Najeib Ahmad Walad, the state MACC assistant enforcement officer, told the inquest into Teoh’s death that he was at the office until 2.30am on that day and the atmosphere had been calm.

His testimony clearly contradicted that of his superior officer Mohd Anuar Ismail on Wednesday that Teoh and Kajang Municipal Council councillor Tan Boon Hwa had apparently argued.

Mohd Anuar, who is the investigating officer of the case, had testified that his colleague Bulkini Paharudin told him Teoh had an argument with Tan at the men’s room at 2am that day.

Teoh, who is the political aide to Selangor executive councillor Ean Yong Hian Wah, was taken to the MACC office on the 14th floor of Plaza Masalam here on July 15 to be questioned over alleged irregular disbursement of state funds. He was found dead on the fifth floor the next day.

Mohd Najeib told coroner Azmil Muntapha Abas that Teoh looked uncomfortable and worried when MACC officers paid Ean Yong’s office an impromptu visit on July 15.

Teoh, he said, also appeared troubled while waiting to be questioned at one of the MACC office’s lounge areas.

Questioned by Gobind Singh Deo, who is holding a watching brief for Teoh’s family, on how he knew that Teoh was worried, he said: “From his body language and facial expression. He was uncomfortable with the MACC officers.”

Gobind: So, if given a chance, he would have left?

Mohd Najeib: I don’t know.

On whether he had asked Teoh why he looked uncomfortable, Mohd Najeib replied he did not care and that it was probably due to his mood that day.

However, he said he would have attended to Teoh if he had complained about something to him.

Asked if force was usually used against those under questioning, he said: “As far as I know, no”.

Gobind: So, are you saying there may be but you don’t know?

Mohd Najeib: Yes.

Replying to counsel holding a watching brief for Ean Yong, Salim Bashir, he agreed that he and his colleagues had not obtained a search warrant before going to the executive councillor’s office.

Salim: Do you agree that it would make them uncomfortable, as they were not prepared to welcome the MACC?

Mohd Najeib: No.

He also said there were no verification documents to prove that several invoices printed by him had come from Teoh’s laptop.

There was no standing order or procedure when checking computers during investigations, he added.

Replying to Gobind earlier, Mohd Najeib admitted he did not remember the password to Teoh’s laptop.

Teoh, he said, had typed in the password himself and had only given him the password to access the CPU seized from his office.

Gobind: So, now if you want to go back to the laptop, you can’t?

Mohd Najeib: I can’t.

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