Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Focus on Teoh's death: Murder or not, MACC must be held responsible X-(

Shafee: Focus on Teoh death, not MACC clangers

May 18, 2011
KUALA LUMPUR, May 18 — The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission’s (MACC) lawyer today urged the public to focus on Teoh Beng Hock’s death and not the blunders by the anti-graft body in its investigations into Selangor DAP.
Datuk Seri Shafee Abdullah, who is representing the MACC in the Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) into Teoh’s death, said that despite these errors, justice must still be served and the question of whether the DAP aide committed suicide be answered.
“Ask yourself honestly, whatever monkey things the MACC officers may have been blundering, wrong in certain procedures, a little harsh in questioning, the hallmark question is whether this suicide or not,” he told reporters outside the RCI courtroom today.
During the RCI, it was revealed that MACC officers had watched pornography in their office.
Commissioner Datuk T. Selventhiranathan also said that there were 59 police reports against the MACC nationwide, of which 21 were against the Selangor branch.
When asked about public perception of the MACC, Shafee said that “we can’t help it if the public insists on being ignorant. They have to open up their eyes and minds and cut across race and religion to look at the matter in perspective.”
The police investigating officer in the case, ASP Ahmad Nazri Zainal, had also taken two months after the death of Teoh to find a mystery note among his belongings.
He then tendered it as evidence at a coroner’s inquest into Teoh’s death almost a year after the incident.
Today, Shafee told the public to focus on the issue of how Teoh died rather than the conduct of officers involved.
“I agree with you, the IO was careless. He should have taken every note and sent it for interpretation straightaway.
“But we always have carelessness in any investigation. In any country. In the United States, the killing by OJ Simpson, all kinds of blunders but it doesn’t mean that justice cannot be done,” he said.
The American football star and actor was acquitted of murdering his wife and her friend after a nine month trial in which his defence team alleged several acts of misconduct by the Los Angeles Police Department, including mishandling blood samples.
Teoh, a former aide to Selangor executive councillor Ean Yong Hian Wah, fell to his death at the Selangor MACC office on July 16, 2009 after being questioned overnight by the anti-graft body.
The coroner’s inquest had in January returned an “open verdict” ruling out both suicide and homicide some 18 months after Teoh’s death.
The public outcry over the inconclusive verdict forced the government to establish the RCI which first met in February with two terms of reference: to probe how Teoh plunged to his death and to look into MACC’s investigative methods.
Its deadline to submit its findings has been extended from April 25 to June 25. Both the Bar Council and MACC will file their submissions by May 25.

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