Wednesday, 26 August 2009

Teoh Inquest Day 14: Political aide had argument with another MACC witness

SHAH ALAM, Aug 26 (Bernama) -- A Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) investigating officer told the Coroner's Court here on Wednesday he was informed that the late political aide Teoh Beng Hock had an argument with another MACC witness at the Selangor MACC office.

Mohd Anuar Ismail, who is Selangor MACC acting senior superintendent, said that after Teoh was found dead he was informed by MACC officer Bulkini Paharuddin that Teoh and Kajang Municipal Councillor Tan Boon Wah had an argument at 2am in a toilet.

Questioned by Datuk Abdul Razak Musa, the lawyer representing the MACC, at the inquest into Teoh's death, Mohd Anuar,32, said Teoh could not have died in detention because he was released and allowed to return home after questioning.

Teoh, 30, who was a political aide to Selangor New Village Development and Illegal Factories Task Force Committee chairman Ean Yong Hian Wah, was found dead on July 16 on the fifth floor corridor of Plaza Masalam, where the Selangor MACC office is located on the 14th floor, after questioning as a witness by the MACC over alleged misappropriation of Selangor government allocations.

"I do not agree that he (Teoh) died in detention because the witness was released at 3.45am and allowed to return home. However, Teoh sought permission from the recording officer (Mohd Nadzri Ibrahim) to rest for a while. I thought he had gone back then," said Mohd Anuar.

He also said that after seeing Teoh's bag, he tried to locate Teoh at the MACC office but failed to do so and he was sure then that Teoh had left and would come back to the MACC office with the documents he had been asked to bring.

As such, he said, he did not contact Teoh's lawyer or family members to enquire about him, and he had intended to hand over Teoh's bag when they met again.

Mohd Anuar also said that no force whatsoever was used on Teoh during questioning.

Questioned about Teoh's lawyer, M. Manoharan, who was said to have been present at the MACC office and had attempted to contact Teoh on the day he was questioned, Mohd Anuar said: "I do not know (about that)."

Asked about the MACC operating round-the-clock, Mohd Anuar explained that this was necessary because some witnesses who worked during the day would ask to have their statements recorded at night so as not to disrupt their work. Some witnesses would not want to be seen coming to the MACC office for obvious reasons and would choose to have their statements recorded at night," he said.

The hearing, before Coroner Azmil Muntapha Abas, continues in the afternoon. -- BERNAMA

Related story: MACC Reveals Teoh's Involvement In Approving Non-Existent Projects

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