Beng Hock’s family challenges RCI suicide verdict

By Boo Su-Lyn, The Malaysian Insider

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 24 — Teoh Beng Hock’s family applied for a judicial review against the royal commission of inquiry’s (RCI) conclusion that the political aide committed suicide in 2009.

The application was made at the High Court today.

The family’s lawyer Gobind Singh Deo pointed out that there was no testimony on what happened to Teoh, between 3.30am and 7am on July 16, 2009, the crucial hours before he was eventually found dead outside the then Selangor Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) office in Plaza Masalam, Shah Alam.

“If you do not know for sure what happened, how can you come to these findings?” asked Gobind at a press conference after filing the application for leave today.

The RCI, which was chaired by sitting Federal Court judge Tan Sri James Foong, found that Teoh was driven to suicide after relentless questioning by anti-graft officers.

The five-man panel wrapped up its report on June 15 after having heard testimony from 70 witnesses in its bid to unravel the mysterious circumstances behind Teoh’s death.

Former Court of Appeal judge Datuk N.H. Chan has called the three judges on the five-man panel “three blind mice” for concluding that Teoh killed himself despite lacking expert opinion.

A copy of the judicial review provided to the press today quoted the RCI as saying in its report: “We believe something had happened between 3.30am (after Teoh Beng Hock’s statement was recorded) and 7.00am (the earliest estimate of his time of death) on July 16, 2009, that drove Teoh Beng Hock to suicide.”

Teoh’s family said it was obvious that the RCI did not know what had happened to Teoh at that time before the former aide to Selangor executive councillor, Ean Yong Hian Wah, plunged nine floors to his death.

Gobind also questioned the lack of action against three MACC officers whom the RCI said had pressured Teoh into committing suicide.