Friday, 19 February 2010

Govt Pathologist Disputes Pornthip's Testimony

SHAH ALAM, 19 FEB, 2010: Sungai Buloh Hospital Pathology Unit head Dr Shahidan Md Noor, who performed the second post-mortem on Nov 22 last year, says today that he finds the first post-mortem on Teoh Beng Hock’s remains satisfactory.

The government pathologist who also told the inquest of the DAP political aide’s death that his fatality was caused by a fall and disputed Dr Pornthip Rojanasunand’s earlier testimony which concluded that he had been strangled or had his anus penetrated before he fell.

Pornthip, a director of the Central Institute of Forensic Science of Thailand’s Justice Ministry, was brought in last year to carry out her own post-mortem on behalf of the Selangor state government.

Shahidan added that the marks on Teoh’s neck were all of the same intensity whereas in manual strangulation, the intensity of such marks would vary.

During the inquest, Shahidan showed pictures and x-rays taken during the second post-mortem and commented that the external examination revealed injuries behind the tongue and in the inner throat of the deceased. Teoh’s skull was fractured and so were the bones in his posterior. There were injuries on his hands, legs and feet, and his humerus, femur and fibia bones were broken.

Shahidan, who has conducted some 1,200 autopsies in his career, also said that he was first reluctant to conduct the second post-mortem but had to comply since a court order was issued.

When Pornthip took the stand late last year, she claimed that there was an 80 percent chance that Teoh’s death was due to homicide which then prompted MACC officer Raub Ghani to lodge a police report against her on Jan 1 for allegedly divulging information.

Teoh’s family then filed an application to cite Raub for contempt. Their counsel Karpal Singh, when delivering his submission, said the court must cite Raub for contempt for interfering with the judicial process as well as trying to intimidate Pornthip by lodging the police report.

Coroner Azmil Muntapha Abas rejected the application however, saying that this was unnecessary given that the authorities, including the Attorney-General’s Chambers, had cleared Pornthip of the allegation.

Attorney-General Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail said he had perused police investigation papers based on Raub’s report and found there was no basis for the allegations levelled against Pornthip.

Teoh, 30, was found dead on July 16 last year at Plaza Masalam here, the morning after he was interviewed for 10 hours by the MACC, whose office is located on the 14th floor of the building.

The political secretary of Selangor exco member Ean Yong Hian Wah was reported to have been a witness in an MACC investigation into alleged irregularities in the disbursement of constituency development funds.


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