Teoh Inquest: Focus on facial injuries

(The Star) SHAH ALAM: Teoh Beng Hock had facial injuries and it is possible that they were caused by beating, an inquest into his death was told.

Dr Khairul Azman Ibrahim, the Klang Tengku Ampuan Rahimah Hospital (HTAR) senior consultant pathologist, also said the political aide had injuries in his anus, adding it was possible that such an injury could have been caused when he was beaten with a blunt wooden object.

Replying to counsel representing the Selangor government Malik Imtiaz Sarwar on the facial injuries, he said it was possible it was due to a beating.

Malik Imtiaz had suggested to Dr Khairul Azman that if the facial injuries were caused by Teoh’s fall from the 14th floor of Plaza Masalam, it depended on how he landed onto the building’s fifth floor service corridor.

Teoh had severe multiple injuries which included a perforated anus, broken ribs, fractured ribs, limbs, and skull as well as various bruises and lacerations.

Probed by Malik Imtiaz over the anal injury, Dr Khairul Azman said the injury could have occurred as Teoh’s sacrum bone (located at the base of the spine) was fractured in the fall.

Malik Imtiaz: Is it possible for the anal injuries to have occurred before the fall and made worse by the fall?

Dr Khairul Azman: Possible.

Malik Imtiaz: Is it possible that this can be seen as a penetration wound?

Dr Khairul Azman, who admitted he had not carried out specific examinations to determine if the rectum was transacted or lacerated, again said the injury could be due to a fragmented sacrum bone.

He added that the trousers would have had a hole instead of a tear if it was indeed a penetration wound.

Malik Imtiaz: What if when this was done, the trousers were taken off?

Dr Khairul Azman: There would be bleeding.

Malik Imtiaz: There was bleeding?

Dr Khairul Azman: Yes.

Earlier, Dr Khairul Azman, replying to counsel Gobind Singh Deo, who is holding a watching brief for Teoh’s family, said such an injury could also be caused when beaten with a blunt wooden object.

Gobind: If he was hit with a blunt and flat object, is it a possibility that he did not have his pants on at the time?

Dr Khairul Azman: Yes, possible.

To whether the injuries could have occurred if one fell from a high altitude and landed flat, Dr Khairul Azman said the injury would have occurred when the posterior took a very hard knock upon landing.

Gobind: In that case the theory that injury was on the right leg does not makes sense.

(Last week, Dr Khairul Azman said Teoh could have landed on his feet with the right leg taking the bulk of the impact.)

To Malik Imtiaz’s question on whether he could say whether there were injuries before the fall, he said: “If there’s evidence such as blood or any other clear signs, only then can I say there is a possibility that it is a homicide.”

Malik Imtiaz also asked if the scratches on Teohs hands resembled fingernail marks.

Dr Khairul Azman said that there was a possibility.

Malik Imtiaz: Is it possible that when he was being held out of the window to scare him, and as he fell, someone grabbed him by the hand and the watch came off, because we never found the watch. Is there a possibility?

Dr Khairul Azman: Yes.

The inquest continues today.