Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Teoh's inquest: Live updates

1.35pm: Proceedings adjourn and will resume at 9am, Thursday.

Chemists are scheduled to take the stand.

1.12pm: Sixth and last witness for today's inquest is another security guard at Plaza Masalam Abd Rahman Rahim.

He said his shift at Plaza Masalam lobby was from 4am to 8am on July 16, adding that he did not take down names of those who entered and left the building.

When questioned by Coroner Azmil if the security personnel are required to note down names of visitors in a logbook, Abd Rahman said they have to but he did not do so.

DPP Tan then said that according to the investigating officer (IO), the logbook had not been filled for months.

Azmil asked the IO to produce the logbook in court Thursday and for Abd Rahman to take the stand again.

1pm: Fifth witness Wan Rosli Wan Adam, a security guard at Plaza Masalam admitted that the security company did not carry out its own investigation after Teoh’s body was found at the premise.

He added that he never questioned the MACC officers on witnesses brought into the building late at night.

When Gobind suggested that questioning witnesses late at night until the wee hours of the morning is not a normal practice, Wan Rosli agreed, adding that it did happen sometimes.

12.05pm: Court resumes with fourth witness taking the stand again.

He said he received a phone call from third witness Khairul who reported finding the body which he (Khairul) believed to be a suicide case.

He added that at that time the cause of death was unknown.

11.45am: Court takes a short recess when lawyer Karpal Singh enters the courtroom.

11.35am: Kpl Abd Karem Othman from the Shah Alam district police takes the stand as the fourth witness.

11.10am: Inquest resumes. Third witness to take the stand is another security personnel at Plaza Masalam Mohd Khairul Izwan M. Nasir.

As ordered by his superior, he said he covered the body with a black plastic sheet and placed bricks on the sheet to keep it in place.

10.30am: Court takes a break for 15 to 30 minutes.

10.20am: Outside the courtroom, Teoh's former employer Seri Kembangan state assemblyman Ean Yong Hian Wah told reporters he is looking for a new political secretary but has not found anyone as hardworking and with good personal skills like Teoh.

He added that he handles some of the workload with help from two assistants from his constituency office.

He also said that his family had been worried for his safety due to Teoh's death

10am: During cross examination by Gobind Singh Deo, Ridzuan said the fifth floor is a restricted area to the public and there was no CCTV there.

He added that to get to the fifth floor, one has to go through an office window with permission or with help from the security guard or maintenance people as they hold the keys to two locked grille doors.

9.35am: Mohd Ridzuan Samsuri, a technician at Plaza Masalam is called to testify.

He said he was at Restoran Pelita at the second floor of the building when he received Siti's call.

He went to the roof of the fifth floor with a colleague Rosli Salleh and saw the body with visible dried blood stains on the knee area.

He added that the person was fair skinned like a Chinese. He later informed his superior via a walkie-talkie

9.30am: First witness to take the stand is Siti Zabedah Yahya, a 41-year-old security guard from a security company provided for Plaza Masalam.

She said she was at the 19th floor of Plaza Masalam on July 16 and as she was fasting that day she took a rest in a store room at about 1.10pm while leaving the window open.

After 20 minutes she got up to close the window and saw a man lying on the corridor of the fifth floor.

She then threw a screw at the person but there was no movement. She then called Mohd Ridzuan Samsuri, a technician to investigate.

9.20am: Gobind Singh tells court that the DNA samples of Tan Boon Hwa and Lee Wye Wing do not match those found on belt and coat belonging to Teoh.

9.15am: Tan listed six early witnesses which are three chemists and three pathologists as the first 12 witnesses. A total 97 witnesses will be called.

He also said that the three chemists have completed three reports which are on the toxicology, criminology and DNA reports.

9.05am: Inquest starts.

9am: DAP adviser Lim Kit Siang arrives at the coroner's court.

8.50am: Around 10 witnesses from the MACC waiting at the carpark area and two of Teoh's former colleagues from Sin Chew Daily Yap Yong Ching and Yee Mei Yeh, also said to be witnesses arrive at magistrates court.

8.20am: Arrival of Tan Hock Chuan from the Attorney-General's team.

SHAH ALAM: The crowd, albeit a smaller one than the first day of Teoh Beng Hock’s death inquest started streaming at the magistrate’s court building here for the inquest proper.

Among them were Teoh’s family members and fiancee.

Reporters waited for media passes to enter the courtroom since 7am. A total 49 passes were available today more than the 30 passes issued last week.

The inquest before Coroner Azmil Muntapha Abas, who is the Shah Alam High Court deputy registrar, is expected to see over 100 witnesses including Teoh’s family members, colleagues and Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) officers involved in questioning Teoh the day before his death.

Gobind Singh Deo, who is holding a watching brief for Teoh’s family while others in his team are Sankaran Nair, Lim Lip Eng and Karpal Singh.

Acting for the Attorney-General are Tan Hock Chuan, Mohd Idham Abd Ghani, Cains Tan and Justin Wee while Malik Imtiaz Sarwar, Ashok Kandiah, Sreekanth Pillai and Asmah Yunos are representing the Selangor government.

Teoh, 30, was found dead on July 16 on the fifth floor of Plaza Masalam the morning after he was interviewed by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC), which has its state office on the 14th floor of the building.

Teoh, who was political secretary to Selangor exco member Ean Yong Hian Wah, was reported to be a witness in an investigation into the alleged abuse of constituency development funds by several Selangor Pakatan Rakyat state assemblymen.

Reports had said that Teoh was released after his statement was recorded, but had asked to sleep on the sofa in the office.

His death is believed to have taken place between 6am and 8am.

The inquest is on despite many quarters questioning its effectiveness. Many parties wanted the Royal Commission of Inquiry to be the forum to unravel Teoh’s suspicious death and determine the cause.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak announced the inquest to probe his death and the inquiry to determine if Teoh’s human rights were violated when he was questioned by the MACC.

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