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Friday, February 19, 2010

Inquest Into the Death Of Teoh Beng Hock While Under the Custody of MACC

KUALA LUMPUR
Friday, 19th February 2010

Dr Pornthip's findings disputed By Sungai Buloh Hospital Pathology Unit head Dr Shahidan Md Noor

Dr Shahidan Md Noor

Sungai Buloh Hospital Pathology Unit head Dr Shahidan Md Noor, who performed the second post-mortem on Teoh Beng Hock last November, told the inquest into his death that the DAP aide died from a fall, disputing Dr Pornthip Rojanasunand's conclusion that he had been strangled or had his anus penetrated before he fell.
He also said he agrees with the findings of the first post-mortem.
Taking the stand today, Dr Shahidan disputed the testimony of Dr Pornthip, who was brought in last year by the Selangor state government to offer her expertise.
Dr Shahidan said that the bruises on Teoh's neck was a result of his fall and that there was no evidence of asphyxia and this was his conclusion at the second autopsy after Teoh's body was exhumed.
Soon after the government pathologist gave his evidence, lawyer Gobind Singh, acting for the Teoh family, rquested for a postponment of the inquest to study Dr Shahidan's findings.
Coroner Azmil Muntapha Abas then granted the request and ordered the inquest to reconvene on March 1.
Earlier, copies of the report had been presented to the parties concerned and the findings of the Nov 22 post-mortem will be made known today.
The autopsy was witnessed by state-appointed pathologist, Dr Pornthip Rojanasunand, and Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission-appointed Dr Peter Venezis.

Murder suspected

Pornthip, a director of the Central Institute of Forensic Science in Bangkok, which is part of the Thailand's Justice Ministry, had taken the stand late last year where she revealed that the political aide's death was 80% homicide.
Pornthip is also expected to present her findings while Venezis, the famed pathologist involved with investigations into Princess Diana's death, will be presenting his.
Both Pornthip and Venezis are likely to take the stand after Shahidan.
Coroner Azmil Muntapha Abas ordered the second autopsy on Nov 9 following Pornthip's startling revelation.
Teoh died on July 16 after being interrogated by MACC officers at its Selangor headquarters in Plaza Masalam here.
While the official version is that the DAP political aide fell to his death, his family have, however, alleged foul play.

Reluctant at first

At the inquest that is being conducted now, Shahidan said he was reluctant to perform the second post-mortem as requested by Tricia Yeoh of the Selangor Menteri Besar's office and Gobind Singh Deo, lawyer for the Teoh family.
The pathologist said he asked the duo to write to the Health Ministry. On Nov 9, he got a call from deputy public prosecutor Mohd Abazafree Mohd Abbas ordering him to perform the post-mortem.
He said Pornthip and Venezis, along with the two pathologists who performed the first post-mortem, were present when the autopsy was carried out.
The post-mortem began at 12.45pm on Nov 22, and finished two hours later.
The post-mortem report, Shahidan said, revealed that there was bruising at the thyroid of the deceased.
There was also a permanent blood clot at the back of tongue near the neck, as well as bleeding on the right side of the brain and on the right side at the back of brain.
The pathologist was decribing his external examination of the body as he answered questions by government-appointed lawyer Tan Hock Chuan.
Shahidan told the inquest that scratch marks were also found on Teoh's left hand.

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