More theories over Teoh’s death

"I put it to you that because you (the pathologist) did not question the MACC officers, you, thus, did not obtain the material facts that resulted in your rejecting the possibility that a homicide had occurred," Gobind told Dr Khairul.

Malaysian Mirror

Questions of psychological problems, homicide and scare tactics surfaced as the inquest into the death of political aide Teoh Beng Hock entered its ninth day Monday.

Earlier in the proceedings, 10th witness Dr Khairul Azman Ibrahim (pic), the senior consultant from the forensic department of the Tengku Ampuan Rahimah Hospital, Klang, was called to take the stand again.khairul-azman ibrahim.jpg

Examined by lawyer Gobind Singh Deo, who is holding a watching brief for Teoh’s family, the pathologist told the coroner’s court that the late political aide did not have any psychological problems.

Dr Khairul agreed with the lawyer’s suggestion that a psychological background check on Teoh was important to determine if the cause of death was suicide.

No psychological problem

He said he questioned Teoh’s brother, younger sister and fiancée to determine if the deceased had any psychological, medical, drug or smoking problem.

He said the family members had told him that Teoh did not have any of those problems.

Teoh, 30, political aide to state executive councilor Ean Yong Hian Wah, was found dead on the fifth floor corridor of the Plaza Masalam here on July 16.

A day earlier he was helping the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission in its investigations of alleged misuse of constituency funds by some Selangor executive councilors. The Selangor office of the MACC is located on the 14th floor of the building.

gobind singh deo 2.jpgGobind (pic)  put it to Dr Khairul that the theory that a homicide had occurred could not be presented because he (Dr Khairul) had failed to question the MACC officers on the matter.

Homicide elements

He said Dr Khairul should have questioned the MACC officers to look into the possibility of homicide elements being involved in the death of the political aide.

"I put it to you that because you (the pathologist) did not question the MACC officers, you, thus, did not obtain the material facts that resulted in your rejecting the possibility that a homicide had occurred," Gobind told Dr Khairul.

To this, the pathologist responded:  "It's not my duty to interrogate the police."

The proceedings became more intense when Gobind repeatedly questioned the witness if he could actually interrogate MACC officers.

Dr Khairul turned to coroner Azmil Muntapha Abas and said: “I’m sorry, he is playing with words.”

Gobind said he had asked straight questions but did not get straight answers.

Asked for details

The witness explained that although he did not interview the MACC officers, he did ask for details on the case from an investigating officer, adding: “In my opinion, it was sufficient to get the story and picture of the situation from the investigating officer.

"I did ask the investigating officer, (and) I was told that the interrogation was completed at about 3.30am and that he (Teoh) could be released but he went to sleep on the sofa.

"I was also told that at about 5am to 5.30am, the deceased was seen wandering about in the (MACC) office.”

Dr Khairul was then asked if he had handled cases involving people who had been tortured while in police custody.

Counsel Tan Hock Chuan, who has been appointed by the Government to help the coroner, objected to the question on the grounds that the victim in this case was neither arrested nor detained by the police.

Content in Teoh's stomach

Dr Khairul was then asked on the content of the victim's stomach. He replied: “There were no traces of food found in the stomach of the deceased."

He said that it showed that the last time Teoh ate was about four hours before his death, adding: “I was told by the police that the deceased was given drinks between 5am and 5.30am.”

Dr Khairul said he did not ask MACC officers whether Teoh was well-treated throughout the duration he was in the MACC office.

malik-imtiaz.jpgQuestioned later by Malik Imtiaz Sarwar (pic), who is representing the Selangor state government, Dr Khairul said Teoh was conscious when he fell, based on spasm signs in his left hand.

“This indicates he had tried to grab something when he fell,” Dr Khairul said, adding that there was a possibility that injuries on Teoh's face could have been caused by beating.

Malik Imtiaz put forward a hypothesis that Teoh was surrounded by individuals – a form of scare tactic – before he fell.

“When he fell someone grabbed his hand and the wristwatch snapped,” he said, adding that the watch has yet to be found.

Malik: Is there a possibility that the scratches on Teoh's wrist could have been caused by someone who held the wrist with the watch?

Dr Khairul: Yes, there is a possibility

The inquest adjourns to Tuesday morning after intense questioning of the various injuries noted in the post mortem.