Police turn up heat as restart of Teoh’s inquest nears

(Harakah Daily) In a clear sign that they will not hesitate to raise the mercury, police have confiscated a press statement from Selangor DAP chief Ean Yong Hian Wah, whom they have accused of intimidation and trying to stop a sedition probe into Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng for saying that political aide Teoh Beng Hock had been murdered.

Accompanied by his lawyers, Ean had gone to the Shah Alam station on Tuesday to lodge a statement after receiving a police notice the day before that he would be arrested if he failed to show up.

“I hold to my view that the police should cease their investigation into Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng for his remarks about the death of Teoh Beng Hock,” Ean said after meeting the police.

During interview, the police took from him a press statement he issued on December 25, 2009, wherein he had written “I call on the police to stop the investigation against Guan Eng immediately. The rakyat wants the Barisan Nasional government to return dignity and truth to Teoh Beng Hock”.

It was this press statement that had caused the Selangor police to lodge a report against him for intimidation. They have now lodged a second report against him for not voluntarily handing over the statement.

However, Ean’s lawyer told reporters that it was not that Ean did not want to co-operate, but rather that the police had asked him to sign a document to acknowledge that they had taken the December press statement from him. According to them, this acknowledgment made it seem as though Ean had not gone to the police station voluntarily. As such, they advised him not to sign the document and this resulted in the police confiscating the December press statement.

“We want the police to focus their attention and energy into fighting crime and finding the truth behind the death of Teoh Beng Hock, rather than waste time on probing DAP and Pakatan Rakyat leaders who are not guilty,” said Ean.

“The rakyat are watching every move they make and they want to see an independent and professional police force. The rakyat believes that Teoh Beng Hock did not commit suicide but there are people who are trying to cover up the truth.”

Backfiring and reflecting badly on the police, MACC

Teoh was Ean’s political officer and his body was found outside the MACC building in Shah Alam on July 16 after an interrogation by MACC officers, who were probing Ean for alleged misuse of state funds. Ean is the Seri Kembangan assemblyman and a Selangor state executive councillor.

The MACC claims it was suicide but Teoh’s family and colleagues are sure foul play was involved. His body has been exhumed and a second autopsy conducted, with famed Thai forensic specialist Dr Pornthip Rojanasunand observing on behalf of the Selangor state government and his family.

Dr Pornthip has previously testified that she was 80 percent sure it was homicide and speculation is rife that after the second post mortem, she has affirmed this view. But just last week, a police report was also lodged against her by MACC officers and there are now fears that she may decide against attending the inquest and testifying. The inquest, which was postponed twice following the second autopsy, will finally resume on Thursday.

As for Guan Eng, who is also the DAP secretary-general, he had last month said during a speech at a Pakatan Rakyat convention that Beng Hock was murdered. Based on this remark, the police had lodged a report against him for alleged sedition.

Said Abdullah Karim, PAS Youth exco member and a practicing lawyer: “Police reports were lodged against the DAP leaders, so it is normal procedure to get their statements.

“But procedure aside, this reflects very badly on the police. It smacks of intimidation by them and strengthens the perception that they are trying to help the MACC against anyone who wants to speak up on the Teoh Beng Hock case. Perhaps this is because the inquest will be resuming soon.”