KUALA LUMPUR: There is insufficient evidence to probe Teoh Beng Hock’s death 10 years ago under culpable homicide, says Attorney-General Tommy Thomas (pix).
In a letter to Ramkarpal Singh, who is representing Teoh’s family, Thomas said that the AG’s Chamber’s instruction for the police to open an investigation paper under Section 342 of the Penal Code for wrongful confinement was merely an administrative procedure.
“This decision was necessary because despite numerous rounds of scrutiny by officers in the Chambers, of the evidence collected from investigations into possible homicide, the present state of evidence is insufficient to proffer a charge under Section 304 or 304A of the Penal Code.
“This recent classification does not however in any way prevent investigators from looking into the truth or as to who were involved in his death,” he said in the letter of July 8, a copy of which was provided to the media during a press conference by Ramkarpal in Parliament today.
Thomas assured that should there be sufficient evidence uncovered by the police, the public prosecutor would not be prevented from reclassifying the charge under culpable homicide or any other suitable charges.
He added that investigations premised under wrongful confinement was also consistent with the Court of Appeal’s previous finding that “Teoh was not free to leave MACC’s premises although he was never placed under arrest”.
In 2009, Teoh, who was then the political aide to a Selangor executive councillor, was found dead on the fifth floor of Plaza Shah Alam, mere hours after he was interrogated by Selangor Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) officers in its state headquarters in the same building.
A royal commission of inquiry later concluded that Teoh was driven to suicide after being interrogated aggressively by the MACC officers, that violated procedures.
In a separate reply letter to Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng, Thomas said he had recently met with Inspector-General of Police Datuk Seri Abdul Hamid Bador and Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission chief Latheefa Koya to discuss the matter.
“They have agreed to cooperate in solving the case. It is hoped they will report to me on any developments in the near future, and the truth to Teoh’s death will be revealed,” he said.
Ramkarpal, who is also DAP legal bureau chairman, said Thomas’ explanation that there was insufficient evidence to probe the case under homicide was unacceptable.
“We take a very different view than his. We feel there is sufficient evidence for homicide. We urge the AG to scrutinise the evidence before him,” he said.
Ramkarpal added that he with several family members of Teoh, would be meeting Thomas today or tomorrow to seek clarification on his decision.