Teoh may have been injured before death fall (UPDATED)

Pathologist admits facts do not support suicide theory 

By Debra Chong, The Malaysian Insider

DAP political aide Teoh Beng Hock may have been injured before he fell to his death on July 16, the government pathologist who carried out the autopsy today told the coroner’s court.

Dr Khairul Aznam Ibrahim from the Hospital Tengku Ampuan Rahimah (HTAR) in Klang admitted that he could not determine that the multiple injuries found on Teoh were the direct result of the injuries taken when he hit the ground.

Teoh was said to have fallen nine storeys from a 14th-floor window in the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission’s  (MACC) Selangor head office at Plaza Masalam here on July 16 after being interrogated for 10 hours as a witness in an alleged misuse of state allocations.

Under intense interrogation from lawyer Malik Imtiaz Sarwar, the senior medical forensic expert said Teoh’s body was showing signs of decomposition by the time he performed the autopsy at noon the next day.

There was also no trace of solid food found in Teoh’s stomach, which suggests that Teoh may have been starving and in a weakened state when he died.

The pathologist explained that a person typically takes four hours to digest food.

Khairul added that Teoh may still have been alive after his body hit the 5th floor landing as his hands were found clenched, indicating he had tried to move and hold on to something.

He also put Teoh’s time of death as early as 5am on July 16.

Malik, who is acting for the Selangor government, later told reporters that the fact was important as the inquest had days earlier been shown photographs taken from security cameras at the lobby floor of Plaza Masalam’s office tower block recording certain MACC personnel only leaving the building after the estimated time of death.

At the start of today’s inquest, Khairul admitted he had found no facts to support his theory that Teoh, who was due to register his marriage to sweetheart Soh Cher Wei after a two-year courtship, had committed suicide.

Khairul had interviewed Teoh’s elder brother and younger sister as well as his 29-year-old teacher fiancee on the same day.

It was so he could find out the deceased’s psychological background and whether there had been any suicidal tendencies or substance abuse.

Khairul said the facts showed that Teoh was not susceptible to suicide.

Teoh’s elder brother told him that the deceased was an “open and talkative person”, the pathologist added.

But Khairul admitted, under intense griling from Gobind Seingh Deo, the lawyer for Teoh’s family, that he did not interview any of the anti-graft officers to check the possibility of a motive for murder, despite knowing that the political secretary to Selangor executive councillor, Ean Yong Hian Wah, had been subjected to an interrogation before he died.

“That is the duty of the police. Not me,” Khairul replied.

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