Tuesday, 18 August 2009

Teoh Inquest Day 10: Owners of fingerprints can't be identified, says witness

SHAH ALAM, Aug 18 (Bernama) -- Although there were many fingerprints found on the window from which Teoh Beng Hock was believed to have fallen, none of the owners of the fingerprints could be ascertained, an inquest proceedings was told on Monday.

Police forensic witness, Chief Inspector Mazli Jusoh, 31, told the inquest on the death of the political aide to a Selangor State Executive Councillor at the Coroner's Court here that all the fingerprints appeared to be incomplete.

Mazli said he did not record nor photographed the fingerprints as none of them fulfilled the criteria required.

"In this case, there certainly were fingerprints but they were incomplete and showed negative results due to their incomplete nature. We need at least eight characteristics," he said when recalled to testify.

Mazli said that in this case there were about eight lines which could be seen on the window but they were incomplete in nature as required in the procedures.

Earlier, Mazli had explained to the court the procedure adopted in identifying fingerprints, saying that the lines on the fingers are similar to the lines on the palm.

When questioned by lawyer Gobind Singh Deo, who is holding a watching brief on behalf of Teoh's family, which sections of the window he had inspected, Mazli said: "I inspected the glass, window frame and the bottom section.

"In this case, the fingerprints which were incomplete were not taken as the window was dusty, because if we take them (fingerprints), sometimes the features were incomplete, only 50-50. The place was dusty, the lines (from the fingerprints) were not clearly defined," he said.

He said that throughout the investigation he had never discussed with the senior medical consultant of the Forensic Department of Hospital Tengku Ampuan Rahimah (HTAR), Klang Dr Khairul Azman Ibrahim how Teoh had fallen.

However, he said he knew that the area near the window (from where Teoh was believed to have fallen) was used by the staff of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) as a place for smoking.

Meanwhile, when cross-examined, Mazli appeared to be angered by several questions posed by Gobind Singh especially on the lack of a report on the fingerprint verification.

Mazli had earlier explained to the court that whenever the fingerprints were negative, he would not do any documentation and no report would be recorded.

To this, Gobind Singh retorted: "In that case, you can come to the court and just say that you could not verify the fingerprints at all."

"If there is none (fingerprints), then there is nothing," Mazli responded.

On the traces of sweat which were not taken from the window, Mazli said if the sweat specimen was to be taken using the swab method, it would damage the fingerprints.

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