Friday, August 28, 2009

MACC officer says it is ‘normal’ to break witnesses down

SHAH ALAM, Aug 28 — An officer with the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) told the coroner’s court today that it is usual for witnesses to be questioned until they obtain the “right” answers.

However, Mohd Ashraf Mohd Yunus denied that Teoh Beng Hock was questioned in such a manner.

Ashraf was one of two MACC officers who questioned the political aide between 10.40pm on July 15 and 12.40am the next day.

He told the court that he received instructions to question Teoh at 9.40pm but had to wait for his colleague to arrive and finish his work before starting.

The 25-year-old officer said it was also normal to question witnesses late at night, if they wanted to co-operate.

He maintained he never questioned Teoh because he was the junior to another officer — Arman Alies — who did the questioning while he only checked documents.

Both officers questioned Teoh before his statement was taken by another officer known only as Nazri. He has yet to be called as a witness.

Ashraf, who joined the MACC in 2005, said he was not trained in interrogation techniques though he underwent six months of basic training at the Police Training Centre in Ayer Hitam.

He also did not know what the word "oppression" meant but he did know what "psychologically breaking down a witness" was.

He said the term was "normal" based on the popular TV series "CSI" but denied assertions by lawyer Gobind Singh Deo that Teoh was assaulted.

Gobind also said the role of the officers was to break Teoh down before he went to give his statement but Ashraf denied this.

No comments: