RCI: Teoh Beng Hock committed suicide

The Teoh Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) report claims that the MACC instituted the "fourth interrogation" during the wee hours of July 16, 2009, from 3.30am to 7am, which "must have been the final straw that broke the camel's back".

According to the report, after having to endure three strenuous rounds of interrogations, the RCI panel believes that DAP political aide Teoh Beng Hock was put through yet another round of intense interrogation by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC).

This is the theory postulated by the RCI to explain how Teoh was pushed to the brink and eventually committed suicide.

"The acts committed by these three persons, namely Hishammudin Hashim, Mohd Anuar Ismail, and Mohd Ashraf Mohd Yunus (left), were most probably in the form of another round of intensive interrogation of Teoh to coerce him into making a statement that it was Ean Yong Hian Wah who directed him to commit unlawful acts in handling the allocation.

"This session must have been very taxing on Teoh, both physically and mentally. He had been deprived of sleep throughout the night and into the morning and had to endure persistent, aggressive and unscrupulous questioning.

"His physical condition, as described by (Mohd) Ashraf when fetching him the glass of water, was that Teoh had moved to sit in an upright position, very slowly.

"This is the fourth interrogation session to our minds (and) must have been the final straw that broke the camel's back," says the report.

MACC officers had contended at both the inquest and RCI that they ended their interrogation of Teoh at 3.30am and the political aide was released. However, instead of going home, they claimed that Teoh had decided to sleep on a couch in the MACC office.

But the RCI report stated that Teoh was not released after the MACC interrogation.

At a press conference this morning, Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Mohd Nazri Abdul Aziz said the government would ensure that "appropriate action will be taken against those officers involved who went against MACC procedures, based on the rules and laws already in place".

RCI argues its case

The RCI gave three reasons to back up its theory:

1. Hishammudin was simply too stubborn to retreat from his mistake in mounting such a massive operation against Selangor elected representatives over the alleged misuse of their constituency allocations, particularly when it had received wide and extensive press coverage.

To overcome his disappointment at the negative results obtained from these witnesses, he must have resorted to a personal and more aggressive interrogation of Teoh since Teoh, as the commission has explained, held the vital link between Ean Yong and the suppliers or contractors, and if anything were to be made to "stick" on Ean Yong, it would have to be through Teoh.

2. The commission believes that Hishammudin (left) must have been assisted upon this foray by Anuar and Ashraf. The commission names Anuar because his alibi had been proved to be false. As disclosed during the inquiry, hardly anyone saw him sleeping at the place he claimed to be at between the hours after 3.30am and 7am on July 16.

Even guard Khairudin who said that he saw Anuar sleeping in the visitor's area pointed out an area which was different from the area where Anuar claimed to have slept at. The evidence of Khairudin itself was not credible as he was found to have with him a prepared script while testifying in the witness box, which proved beyond doubt that he had been coached.

Further, Anuar lied about the role he had played in order to cover up for Hishammudin. And on top of these factors, he was a trusted senior officer of Hishammudin who was prepared to sacrifice himself for Hishammudin. The other officer, Hairul Ilham, having gone home by that time.

3. The commission found it most unusual for Ashraf to fetch Teoh a glass of water at about 4.40am on July 16. This established three things - first, Ashraf was around during this time.

Second, though Teoh knew where the pantry was and could have gone there himself to get a drink of water, yet he demanded Ashraf's services.

This was most extraordinary in view of Ashraf's poor track record on physical abuse of suspects, which made it unlikely that he would entertain a demand from a person who was inferiorly situated in relation to him at that point in time. Though Teoh (extreme right) was termed a "witness", he was treated more like a suspect.

Third, was the rather impolite and demanding nature of the request: "Hoi! I want to drink water" (according to Ashraf). This could be said to be downright rude, yet Ashraf complied.

From this, the commission drew the inference that Ashraf was not thoughtful and generous in performing this service but had done so out of remorse for some of the improper things that he and those involved had done to Teoh during the hours of 3.30am to 7am.

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