SHAH ALAM, Aug 24 — The last man to see DAP political aide Teoh Beng Hock alive is graft buster Raymond Nion son of John Timban, a Selangor MACC man told the coroner’s court today.
The investigating officer from the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission’s (MACC) Selangor branch, Mohd Anuar Ismail, is the 16th person to step into the witness stand in the ongoing inquiry to learn how Teoh died.
Mohd Anuar told the coroner’s court he only learned later that Raymond supposedly saw Teoh sleeping on a sofa in the MACC office on the 14th-floor of Plaza Masalam here as he himself was sleeping in a different room at the same time.
He added that another fellow officer, Mohd Ashraf Mohd Yunus, was the last to speak to Teoh.
“After the incident of Mr Teoh Beng Hock’s death, I was informed that at about 5am, he had called Mr Ashraf to ask for a drink and at about 6am, an officer named Mr Raymond had seen Mr Teoh Beng Hock still sleeping on a sofa,” the MACC IO replied when quizzed by lawyer Tan Hock Chuan.
Tan is a former deputy public prosecutor who was asked by the Attorney General to help the coroner in the inquest.
Mohd Anuar also said Teoh, who was found dead on a 5th-floor landing at the MACC Selangor branch on July 16, had been questioned overnight as the main witness into claims that Selangor DAP assemblymen were misusing state funds.
The soft-spoken MACC IO any denied that any “force” or “threats” had been used on Teoh during the interrogation.
He noted that two officers who had interviewed Teoh, Arman Alies and Mohd Ashraf Mohd Yunus, had later told him Teoh did not answer several questions on certain “documents” and his laptop but the officer who recorded the deceased’s statement, Mohd Nadzri Ibrahim, said there were “no problems”with Teoh.
Mohd Anuar also told the coroner that he had found Teoh’s bag, a dark-coloured slingbag, left behind on a sofa in the MACC Selangor office when he finally woke up at 8.30am on July 16, after Teoh was said to have been “released” from questioning.
He said he remembered seeing Teoh carry in the bag when he entered the building the previous day at about 6-plus in the evening but failed to identify the bag when pressed by Tan, who referred him to a photograph.
He had checked with several MACC workers, from fellow investigators including the head of the investigations unit, Hairul Idham Hamzah to the telephone operator to see if Teoh was still in the building, but failed to get a positive answer.
Mohd Anuar told the coroner his next sight of Teoh was after the political aide’s death, when he had received an emergency phone call from fellow officer, assistant enforcer Mohd Redzuan Mohamad, who told to go down to the 5th-floor “immediately”.
The IO had previously testified that he had been called back to the MACC office by Hairul Idham about midnight on July 16 after leaving at 8.30pm the day before.
However, he himself was not involved directly in the interrogation process despite being the IO, he said in reply to Tan’s pointed remark, explaining that officers carried out their jobs based on orders given from a senior officer.
He told the inquest that he had spent most of the hours between midnight and 9am sleeping: first on a sofa, then moving to the surau next to the toilet until about 3am when he was woken up by Mohd Nadzri Ibrahim who told him he had finished recording Teoh’s statements.
He instructed Mohd Nadzri to tell Teoh to go home and return the next day to hand over certain “documents”.
At 5am, Mohd Anuar moved to the main visitor’s room in the front of the office, where he slept with an MACC security guard, Mohammed Khairuddin Denan until 8.30am.
Yet, Mohd Anuar told the court he did not contact Teoh the next morning to follow-up on the “documents” related to the MACC’s investigations on the abuse of state funds when Tan probed.
Tan: As the IO, if someone does not bring the documents, do you call up the next day to ask him to bring the documents? Did you telephone Mr Teoh?
Mohd Anuar: No.
Tan: Did you ask any other officer to telephone Mr Teoh?
Mohd Anuar: No.
Tan’s eyebrows shot all the way to his hairline when he learnt that
Mohd Anuar had not gone home from July 16 until July 18.
The latter’s punch card showed he last clocked in on July 15 at 8.22am without ever clocking out, even though he admitted he had left the building at 8.30pm the same day to go home.
Tan: Is it a normal thing for the MACC?
Mohd Anuar: It’s a normal thing.
The MACC’s legal affairs director, Datuk Abdul Razak Musa, today offered again to supply the coroner with the recorded statement taken from Teoh before his death, which he said may be relevant to show his mental state.
But lawyer Gobind Singh Deo, acting for Teoh’s family, pointed out that the recorded statement was only an “interpretation” from the MACC and could not be said to fully “reflect” Teoh’s mind when he was no longer alive to prove the truth of the recording.
Malik Imtiaz Sarwar, the lawyer for the Selangor government, was equally cautious for the coroner to accept wholeheartedly the recorded statement.
“We have to study the statement first as we have just received it today. Our main concern is whether it is inded Teoh’s statement,” he told The Malaysian Insider.
Speaking to reporters after the inquest, Abdul Razak admitted the statement was not a video or audio recording but merely a written record of Teoh’s conversation with the MACC officers.
Magistrate Azmil Muntapha Abas, who is acting as coroner, noted that the recording may still show relevance. He said he would decide tomorrow. - Malaysian Insider
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