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Thursday, April 28, 2011

RCI suddenly defers hearing: Teohs suspect delay to help MACC

RCI suddenly defers hearing: Teohs suspect delay to help MACC

The sister of the late Teoh Beng Hock has accused the Royal Commission of Inquiry of plotting with the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission to postpone hearings so that MACC officers have more time to synchronise their statements and not let the cat out of the bag.

“I see that nobody in the MACC speaks the truth, it's very obvious. If no one committed murder, there would have been no need for a cover-up. It was obvious during the inquest as well,” Lee Lan told reporters today.

Beng Hock's younger sister was at the Kuala Lumpur Court Complex in Jalan Duta to accompany Mandy Ooi, secretary to Seputeh MP Teresa Kok, who was due to testify at the RCI. But the hearing had been suddenly put off following a startling revelation by an MACC officer a day ago.

On Wednesday, MACC assistant superintendent Azeem Hafeez Jamaluddin admitted that there instructions to cover for Selangor deputy director Hishamuddin Hashim, who had been the prime mover behind an investigation into alleged irregular disbursement of state funds by Pakatan Rakyat leaders.

Under grilling, Azeem had said their orders were to “to be consistent with statements from the police" and with those made during the inquest.

Indeed, the suddeness of the RCI's postponement caught even the media by surprise. No one had been informed.

According to the RCI secretariat, hearings would resume next week as the panel has already heard the testimonies of all the witnesses lined up for this week.

Teoh's dad, brother next

Lee Lan also told reporters that her father Leong Hwee and older brother Meng Kee have both been subpoenaed to testify next week.

Indeed, there have been doubts about the independence of the RCI, given that it was selected without any consultation with the Teoh family and members of civil society.

To defend his selection of the RCI panel members, Prime Minister Najib Razak had even accused the Teoh family of having been enticed by the opposition.

Teoh, a 30-year old former journalist, was found dead after overnight interrogation at the MACC building in Shah Alam two years ago. He is widely believed to be a victim of an Umno-MACC conspiracy aimed at framing Selangor Pakatan leaders in a bid to topple the state government.

The MACC insists he committed suicide, but his family are convinced tyhere was foul play. An inquest came to an inconclusive open verdict that it was neihter suicide or homicide.

Najib had initially refused to hold an RCI but the public clamoring was so loud, he finally gave in.

Earlier this month, another person also 'fell' to his death at the MACC office in Cheras. Ahmad Sarbani, the Selangor deputy Customs director out on bail, had gone to see the Investigating Officer after he was released from remand several days before.

Like Beng Hock, his body was found sprawled on the ground and his family has also denied that there could be any reason for Sarbani to commit suicide. They are clamoring for the police to investigate the case as homicide. - Malaysia Chronicle

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