Thursday, July 21, 2011

RCI: ‘Weak-willed’ Teoh committed suicide

KUALA LUMPUR: Former Selangor political aide Teoh Beng Hock was not murdered but had committed suicide due to the aggressive interrogation by three Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) officers.
This was the conclusion of the Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) tasked with investigating Teoh’s cause of death.
Revealing this in Parliament today, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Mohd Nazri Abdul Aziz said that based on the report, action would be taken against the MACC officers for not following procedure.

“It was found that he was not killed. But he was burdened and pressured by the interrogation, coupled with Teoh being a weak-willed person which triggered him to commit suicide,” he said.
Nazri said the RCI also found that MACC officers had no intention or reason to kill Teoh but only wanted to force a confession from him as a witness in their investigations into the alleged abuse of state allocations by DAP state assemblymen in Selangor.
“And his suicide is supported by forensic psychiatrist Dr Paul Mullen, who was engaged by the Bar Council,” he added.
Nazri said that Mullen noted that Teoh’s risk of committing suicide soared drastically due to the long hours of aggressive interrogation.
“I hope no one will politicise the matter and twist the facts as a respect for the RCI findings as well as for the family. I hope everyone, including the family, will bring this episode to a closure,” added the minister, who also expressed the government’s regret over Teoh’s death.
Asked if the government would tender a formal apology to Teoh’s family, Nazri said he could not commit to anything as today’s press conference was only based on the RCI findings.
“The Cabinet only discussed on making the RCI findings public,” he added.
Recommendations will be implemented


As for the three MACC officers, Nazri said the RCI found that they had breached procedure with their improper interrogation techniques.
In view of this, he said, the RCI made several recommendations as to how MACC could improve its procedures.
Among the recommendations was for MACC to reassess its officers’ entry requirements and training; improve its office infrastructure, and to re-study all MACC investigative procedure and improve them.
“The government guarantees that action will be taken against the three officers and all recommendations made will be followed,” said Nazri, who added that the government was otherwise confident of MACC’s integrity.
“But we have to open an investigation on the officers to follow procedure. We can’t just hang them,” he said, adding that their names were mentioned in the report.
The RCI, which was headed by Federal Court Judge James Foong, had reached its conclusion unanimously.
Its proceedings which began in February this year, ended after five months which saw the commission taking testimonies from some 70 witnesses, including MACC and police officers and other forensic experts.
The 124-page report was then was submitted to the Yang di-Pertuan Agong Sultan Mizan Zainal Abidin on June 22. A copy was also given to Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak.
Nazri was also asked what would happen if certain quarters rejected the findings and called for a judicial review. “It’s a free country, anything the people want, we’ll look into it,” he replied.
The report would be made available at the Legal Affairs Division of the Prime Minister’s Department from 10am tomorrow at the price of RM45 per copy.
Ex boss: I don’t believe it
In an immediate reaction, Teoh’s former boss, Selangor exco Ean Yon Hian Wah said that he rejected the commission’s findings.
“I don’t believe he committed suicide. The RCI proves that MACC abused its powers by using aggressive methods while questioning.
“MACC should be held responsible for Teoh’s death,” he told FMT.
Teoh’s family together with their lawyers Karpal Singh and his son Gobind, would be holding a press conference at 4.30pm.
The pertinent question now is whether the errant MACC officers would face criminal charges, given that their actions contributed to Teoh’s death, or would it merely be administrative action.
In another development, the MACC said it will follow up with all recommendations made by the RCI. The commission added it has not received a copy of the report from the RCI and will be purchasing  it tomorrow.
Yes Mr PM, it’s ‘all about politics’ 





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