Friday, August 7, 2009

Teoh's death may have been 'not accidental'


SHAH ALAM: It is possible that force was exerted on Teoh Beng Hock just before he died, suggesting that his death could be “not accidental”.

The inquest into the political aide’s death was told of 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 Lay Hong, a DNA scientist from 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.

She was cross-examined by Gobind Singh Deo, who held a watching brief for Teoh’s family.

Gobind: Do you also say that it is possible that this man was being held from a high building by the belt and it snapped? Is that a possibility?

Dr Seah: It’s speculative but it’s one of the many possibilities.

Teoh, 30, who was the political secretary to Seri Kembangan assemblyman and executive council member Ean Yong Hian Wah, was found dead on the fifth floor corridor of Plaza Masalam where the MACC office is located on July 16.

He had gone to the MACC office on the 14th floor of the building a day earlier to be questioned about the disbursement of state funds.

Earlier, Dr Seah 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.

Questioned by Tan Hock Chuan, who is counsel appointed by the Government to assist coroner Azmil Muntapha Abas, whether she had swabbed for contact DNA testing, Dr Seah said she had swabbed areas on clothing items belonging to Teoh.

She also said the Chemistry Department was well grounded in its hypothesis.

To a question by Gobind if she had been told about the circumstances surrounding Teoh’s death or seen pictures of his remains before arriving at her hypothesis, Dr Seah replied that she did not see any photographs.

Gobind also asked Dr Seah if the investigation officer had told her that Teoh may have been murdered.

“Not in many words. No, he didn’t say murder but that it could be accidental or not accidental,” said Dr Seah, adding that she was told that Teoh had fallen to his death.

The inquest continues today.

No comments: