Bar Council says MACC responsible for Teoh’s death

By Clara Chooi, The Malaysian Insider

KUALA LUMPUR, July 23 — The Bar Council said today the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) is fully responsible for the death of DAP political aide Teoh Beng Hock and urged the graftbusting agency and the government to issue public apologies.

Council president Lim Chee Wee said the council did not agreed with the suicide conclusion made in the royal commission of inquiry (RCI) report released on Thursday as it was not supported by facts and the evidence.

“It is very clear to the Malaysian Bar that full responsibility for Teoh Beng Hock’s death lies squarely and solely on the MACC,” he said in a statement today.

As such, Lim (picture) said the officers named in the report should be punished immediately for committing offences under sections 304 and 304A of the Penal Code, namely for culpable homicide not amounting to murder and for causing Teoh’s death by negligence.

“The Malaysian Bar also calls on the government of Malaysia and MACC to consider offering an unqualified written apology to Teoh Beng Hock’s family and to the citizens of Malaysia for his death and making reasonable recompense to Teoh Beng Hock’s family in respect of his death,” he said.

Lim also rejected the notion that Teoh’s “weak character” had led him to suicide, as described by Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Mohamed Nazri Aziz when he announced the release of the RCI report.

He pointed out that forensic psychiatrist Professor Paul Mullen had not testified that Teoh had a “weak character” and had not concluded that Teoh had committed suicide.

On the other findings in the RCI report, Lim said the council had concurred with the royal panel that Teoh had been subjected to “aggressive, relentless, oppressive and unscrupulous interrogation” and that most of the MACC officers involved in the case were not credible as they “had the inevitable habit of lying”.

Lim said the council also agreed that the massive operation launched by the Selangor MACC at the time had been based on a mere belief without proper ground work or verification.

The then-Selangor MACC deputy director Hishammuddin Hashim, he said, had been accurately described in the RCI report as “arrogant, given to falsehoods, untruthful and uncompromising” and “just too stubborn to retreat from his mistake in mounting such a massive operation”.

“Hishammuddin should be held responsible for the actions taken by him and his officers that led to Teoh Beng Hock’s death,” Lim agreed.

The RCI report, which was released two days ago, ruled that Teoh committed suicide as a result of pressure from aggressive and prolonged questioning by MACC officers.

The officers had wanted to pressure Teoh into becoming a witness in their case against his boss, Seri Kembangan assemblyman Ean Yong Hian Wah, for alleged abuse of public funds.