Press Statement by Teoh Beng Hock Trust for Democracy on 25 June 2019 in Petaling Jaya
The Police Have Disregarded the MACC Officers’ Responsibility in Causing the Death of Teoh Beng Hock
Teoh Beng Hock Trust for Democracy is shocked to learn that Selangor police has summoned Teoh family to take statement in relation to the “wrongful confinement” of Teoh Beng Hock in July 2009. This has completely deviated from the judgement of the Court of Appeal in September 2014 which ruled that “one or more unknown persons caused the death of Teoh, including MACC officers.”
Last week, Selangor police called Teoh Lee Lan, Teoh family’s spokesperson, to give a statement under the Section 342 of the Penal Code, claiming that they received instruction from the Attorney General Tommy Thomas. This is inconsistent with the announcement of Minister of Finance Lim Guan Eng that the cabinet had ordered a fresh investigation on the death of Teoh.
Section 342 of the Penal code states that “Whoever wrongfully confines any person shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to one year or with fine which may extend to two thousand ringgit or with both.”
This is in stark contrast to the recommendations of Teoh Beng Hock Trust for Democracy and Malaysian Bar that those MACC officers involved should be prosecuted under the Section 304 of culpable homicide that upon conviction the perpetrators will serve a jail term up to 30 years, and there is no limitation of fine.
The appellate court judgement has clearly stated that the injury on Teoh’s neck had existed prior to his fall, so it is an indisputable fact that Teoh was killed in the office of Selangor MACC. The police should investigate whether the MACC officers caused the death of Teoh, rather than avoiding it and only investigate the procedural responsibility of MACC officers.
Literally, the police has re-categorised the case from culpable homicide to a procedural responsibility. This has indifferently disregarded the criminal responsibility in causing the death of Teoh and give a lighter punishment to MACC officers. The cabinet must explain whether the change of investigation direction of the police get the nod of the cabinet.
The Attorney General Tommy Thomas must clarify why he had completely ignored the core issue of political murder in directing the re-investigation and turned a blind eye to the violation of human rights caused by MACC.
The organisation has sent letters to the Attorney General three times to request an appointment with him to report to him the details of the case. Nevertheless, he did not respond at all. We regret such an inadequate due diligence which was common under the previous BN administration.
Ng Geok Chee
Teoh Beng Hock Trust for Democracy