PETALING JAYA: A group dedicated to seeking justice for political aide Teoh Beng Hock today urged the Cabinet and Attorney-General Tommy Thomas to explain why the police are now investigating his death under wrongful confinement and not culpable homicide.
In a statement, the Teoh Beng Hock Trust for Democracy said it was shocked to hear that Selangor police had called Teoh’s sister, Lee Lan, to give a statement under Section 342 of the Penal Code, reportedly under Thomas’ instructions.
Section 342 states: “Whoever wrongfully confines any person shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to one year or with a fine which may extend to RM2,000, or both.”
The group’s chairman Ng Geok Chee said this was a complete deviation from the Court of Appeal judgment in September 2014 which ruled that “one or more unknown persons caused the death of Beng Hock, including Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) officers”.
“This is inconsistent with the announcement of Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng that the Cabinet had ordered a fresh investigation into the death of Beng Hock,” Ng added.
He said the group, along with the Malaysian Bar, had recommended that the MACC officers involved be prosecuted under Section 304 for culpable homicide which could see the perpetrators serving up to 30 years in jail.
“The appellate court judgment clearly stated that the injury on Beng Hock’s neck existed prior to his fall, so it is an indisputable fact that Beng Hock was killed in the office of Selangor MACC,” he said.
He said the police should investigate whether the MACC officers caused Teoh’s death instead of only looking into the procedural responsibility of the officers in question.
“The Cabinet must explain whether the change of investigation direction of the police get the nod of the Cabinet.
“Attorney-General Tommy Thomas must clarify why he completely ignored the core issue of political murder in directing the re-investigation and turned a blind eye to the violation of human rights caused by MACC,” he added.
Ng said the group had written three times to Thomas to request an appointment to provide him with details of the case.
“Nevertheless, he did not respond at all. We regret such inadequate due diligence which was common under the previous Barisan Nasional administration.”
Meanwhile, MM Online reported:
Why wrongful confinement and not homicide probe in Beng Hock’s case? DAP MP asks AG BY KENNETH TEE
Ramkarpal said he had spoken to a police investigator assigned to the case who confirmed the reclassification under Section 342 of the Penal Code for wrongful confinement. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa
KUALA LUMPUR, June 25 — Attorney General Tommy Thomas must clarify why it is asking police to reinvestigate the 2009 death of former DAP aide Teoh Beng Hock while in the custody of anti-graft officials under wrongful confinement instead of homicide, Bukit Gelugor MP Ramkarpal Singh said today.
The lawyer, who is also representing the family of the late Teoh, said he will write formally to the AG tomorrow.
“It is utterly disappointing for the matter to be investigated for a much lesser offence of wrongful confinement when the Court of Appeal had clearly indicated in its judgment that there was evidence of homicide surrounding Teoh’s death,” he said in a statement. Ramkarpal said he had spoken to a police investigator assigned to the case who confirmed the reclassification under Section 342 of the Penal Code for wrongful confinement.
“It must be emphasised that the findings of the said Court of Appeal were based on the evidence established in the inquiry into Teoh’s death.
“As such, there can be no doubt that such findings were as a result of the testimonies of various witnesses and expert opinions, particularly in relation to injuries noted on Teoh’s body, from the said inquiry that was considered by the court.
“If the Court of Appeal found evidence of homicide, how is it that the AGC did not?” he asked. He added that Teoh’s sister, Teoh Lee Lan, had been asked to provide a statement in the fresh investigation.
Under Section 342 of the Penal Code, whoever wrongfully confines any person shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to one year or with a fine which may extend to RM2,000, or both.
A group calling itself the Teoh Beng Hock Trust for Democracy had highlighted the issue.
It urged the authorities to reopen investigations into the 10-year-old case under Section 304 for culpable homicide which could see the perpetrators serving up to 30 years in jail.
In 2009, Teoh, who was the political aide to then-Selangor executive councillor Ean Yong Hian Wah, was found dead on the fifth floor of Plaza Masalam in Shah Alam, hours after he was interrogated by the Selangor officers from the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission in its state headquarters, then on the 14th floor of the same building.