Significant adrenaline test not conducted, says chemist

By Syed Jaymal Zahiid, The Malaysian Insider

Government chemist Zaraiha Awang said an adrenaline test that could have determined if Teoh Beng Hock had been under stress at the time of death was not conducted during the autopsy.

The result of the test is significant because it could be an indicator that Teoh was pushed if he was under stress.

Lawyer Gobind Singh Deo, who is representing Teoh's family, argued before the inquest that the level of adrenaline content in the deceased's blood could have indicated if he was panicking prior to his death but the test was not conducted because the police had not instructed Zaraiha to do so.

Zaraiha , the seventh witness at the inquest into Teoh’s death, however, said that as a chemist it was not her duty to perform the test and that her scope was only limited to conducting tests to determine if there were traces of poison, which included dangerous drugs and alcohol, in Teoh's body. None were found.

The chemist was grilled by Gobind who insisted that Zaraiha , with 12 years’ experience as a toxicologist, and with the political implications of the case, should have taken the case more seriously and could have asked other experts to perform the adrenaline test.

Zaraiha admitted that though it was possible for other relevant experts to have performed the adrenaline test, none was conducted.

The cross-examination this morning of Zaraiha became a heated affair when the lawyer leading the government's team, Tan Hock Chuan, objected to Gobind using the word "pushed", arguing that he was already making conclusions when it was yet to be determined what caused Teoh's death.