Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Teoh Beng Hock Inquest Verdict Tomorrow

comments by Danil Daud

Lets see what the Coroner is up against. 

First there is death by misadventure ,a death due to unintentional accident without any violation of law or criminal negligence. Thus, there is no crime.

How would the masses react to this finding?

Then there is criminal homicide – Generally divided into two categories: murder and manslaughter. Murder is usually further divided into the first degree, which typically involves a premeditated intent to kill, and the second degree, which typically does not involve a premeditated intent to kill.
Manslaughter typically involves an unintentional killing that resulted from a person’s criminal negligence or reckless disregard for human life.

While most would have no qualms if murder of the 1st degree is rule out but what about murder in the 2nd degree or manslaughter for that matter?

And of cause suicide . The most convenient of verdicts!!

Alright there is also an open verdict meaning to say that the exact cause of Teoh’s death is not known.

This is Wikipedia’s interpretation of an open verdict:

The Open verdict is an option open to a Coroner’s jury at an Inquest in the legal system of England and Wales. The verdict strictly means that the jury confirms that the death is suspicious but is unable to reach any of the other verdicts open to them.[1] Mortality studies consider it likely that the majority of open verdicts are recorded in cases of suicide where the intent of the deceased could not be proved,[2] although the verdict is recorded in many other circumstances - Danil Daud

This is what a friend who is a lawyer living in the Big Apple has to say,
Teoh has gone to a better place as they always say when someone passes on. But on trial is not Teoh Beng Hock, but Malaysia’s own justice system.
The victim was alive when he hit the ground. This can easily be determined by whoever performed the autopsy. All they need is to come out with the right theory consistent with the facts. They settle on suicide. They figure out they would need a suicide note since there was no government witness who could testify to his motive. A suicide note was ‘found’ but it was late in the investigation. Issues of its credibility remained. But most devastating to the government theory of suicide is that this man had everything to live for. He was supposed to get married the next day.
Everything points to homicide. Not suicide.

And interestingly enough the evidence adverse to the claim of suicide is in fact coming from the party that alleges suicide. As it often happens during trial.
It comes not through cross-examination but examination-in-chief of the witnesses for the party making the allegation.


January 4, 2011

Teoh Beng Hock Inquest :  Tomorrow, the Verdict is….?

BERNAMA reports:


The much-awaited verdict of the inquest into the death of political aide Teoh Beng Hock is expected to be delivered at the Shah Alam magistrate’s court tomorrow.

Teoh’s family members will join lawyers and reporters and other interested parties on the second floor of the annex building of the court complex to hear coroner Azmil Muntapha Abas give the findings of the inquest at 2.30pm.
Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) director of the Legal and Prosecution Division Datuk Abdul Razak Musa told Bernama that there had been no indication from court officials of any postponement.
Teoh, 30, political secretary to Selangor executive councillor Ean Yong Hian Wah, was found dead on July 16, 2009 on the fifth-floor corridor of Plaza Masalam in Shah Alam after he had given a statement at the office of the Selangor branch of the MACC on the 14th floor of the same building.
The Attorney-General’s office directed the inquest to be held since Teoh’s death raised questions of whether it was suicide or homicide.
It was widely reported that he died hours after being questioned by the MACC into alleged misuse of Selangor government allocations.
The inquest had been scheduled to be completed within a month, but it dragged on until November 4 last year.Thirty-seven witnesses testified, including well-known Thai pathologist Dr Pornthip Rojanasunand.
Dr Pornthip, who was invited by the Selangor government, raised controversy when she claimed that Teoh could have been murdered, leading to his body being exhumed for a second post-mortem.
However, when the court was expected to hear her expert view after the second autopsy, Dr Pornthip caused further uproar when she alleged that she had been warned been threatened and warned not to attend the inquest.
Appearing in court again on August 18, she said the second post-mortem indicated that Teoh was not assaulted or tortured, but maintained that his death was not a suicide.
British forensics expert Professor Dr Peter Vanezis, engaged by the MACC, testified that Teoh was not unconscious when he plunged to his death.
Dr Vanezis said the distribution of injuries indicated that Teoh was fully conscious and orientated at the time.He also had testified that the second post-mortem, which was supervised by him, revealed that none of the injuries showed that he was killed by other means or thrown out of the window.

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