Wednesday, July 27, 2011

4 new leads from the TBH RCI Report providing powerful reasons why police should re-open investigations on who were TBH’s killers

--Lim Kit Siang

The James Foong Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) into the death of Teoh Beng Hock (TBH) is a great disappointment, as it has come out with a finding of “TBH was driven to commit suicide by the aggressive, relentless, oppressive and unscrupulous interrogation by certain officers of the MACC”(Para 119) , which is rejected by all right-thinking Malaysians.

There is however a silver lining in the TBH RCI Report as it has provided four new leads which are powerful reasons why the police should re-open investigations into who killed TBH at the MACC headquarters at Shah Alam on July 16, 2009.

LEAD ONE

the TBH RCI was most scathing in its indictment of the character and testimony of the MACC officers especially from Selangor at the RCI. Apart from two brave and truthful souls from Selangor MACC, i.e. Azeem Hafeez Jamaluddin and Azlan (Para 176), the TBH RCI virtually dismissed the rest as a pack of liars led by Hishamuddin Hashim (HH), the “mastermind” of the massive and unjustified operation which resulted in TBH’s death.

This is what the TBH RCI has to say about Hishammuddin, the “mastermind”:

“We found him to be arrogant, given to falsehoods, untruthful and uncompromising in his stand. His falsehoods, particularly of his non-active involvement in the entire operation at the material time, were exposed from the contradictory statements he made before us. But more compelling was the confirmation from two of his own officers, namely Azeem and Azian who were brave enough to reveal towards the later part of our proceedings the actual role of HH in this operation despite the fact that HH was their superior and still holds a senior position in the MACC as director of the MACC Negri Sembilan.”

As for Anuar Ismail (Anuar), who was appointed investigation officer (IO) of the operation by “mastermind” Hishamuddin, the TBH RCI statement cannot be more condemnatory: “Anuar lied about the role he played in order to cover up for HH. And on top of these factors, he was a trusted senior officer of HH who was prepared to sacrifice himself for HH, the other such officer Hairul Ilham having gone home by that time.” (Para 195).

In Para 337, the TBH RCI said: “That HH and others under his command lied in this inquiry is borne home by the testimonies of Azeem and Azian, the two MACC offices who were courageous enough to testify that attempts were made to get them to say that HH was not directly involved in the operation and that it was Hairul Ilham who was in charge”.

In fact, the TBH RCI report is fertile source for the formulation of multiple perjury charges against Hishamuddin and other MACC officers in giving false testimony at the RCI – a judicial proceeding under the definition of Penal Code Section 193 which provides for the maximum sentence of seven years jail and fine on conviction.

Para 336 of TBH RCi is an example where a perjury charge could be framed against Hishammuddin, as it said:

“The evidence adduced showed that the MACC officers were prepared to go to great lengths to lie. One glaring example is that of HH, a very senior officer, who was overall in charge of operations on that fateful 15th evening and spilling over into the early hours of the morning of the16th. In testimony before us, he was adamant in his stand that he had no knowledge whatsoever that complaints of assault and use of force had been lodged against officers under his charge with the police. However, his lie was exposed with startling clarity when DSP Kamaruddin Ismail from the Selangor police produced a letter written by HH himself in 2008 responding to police inquiries in relation to the complaints of assault and related abuses of power that had been lodged against MACC officers under his command.”

Will the Attorney-General Tan Sri Gani for Patail arrest and charge Hishammuddin for perjury just based on Para 336 of the TBH RCI?

With all MACC Selangor officers led by Hishammuddin dismissed as “a pack of liars” (apart from Azeem and Azian), this would mean that they had lied all the way from the initial police investigations into TBH’s death, the TBH inquest and the TBH RCI about what happened to TBH in MACC on the fateful days of July 15/16, 2009.

As the police had been lied to in police criminal investigations into TBH’s death, this means that all the police statements given by Hishammuddin and the MACC Selangor officers (except for Azeem and Azian) about what happened to TBH in his three interrogations in MACC from 6 pm on 15th July to 3.30 am on 16th July were untrue, worthless and must be rejected – justifying a re-opening of police investigations into TBH’s death.

LEAD TWO

The TBH RCI reported that apart from the three interrogations from 6pm on 15th to 3.30 am on 16th July, there was a hitherto unknown “Fourth Interrogation” of TBH between 3.30 am and 7 am on the 16th “that broke the camel’s back, so to speak, that propelled TBH to commit suicide” (Para 166).

Para 229 said: “By the time, the fourth or final stage of the interrogation was over, TBH would have been almost a mental and physical wreck.”

Police investigations into TBH’s death never knew about this “Fourth Interrogation” between 3.30 am to 7 am on 16th July – a second lead from the TBH RCI report on why police should re-open investigations. In fact, it should also investigate whether there was a “fifth” interrogation between 7 am to 11 am – depending on the time of TBH’s death.

LEAD THREE

– Hishammuddin was the “mastermind” in the host of criminalities and breaches of the law in the massive operation resulting in TBH’s death. Though deputy director of MACC Selangor at the time in charge of investigations and intelligence-gathering, Hishammuddin “appeared to have absolute authority to investigate anyone whom he suspected to be involved in any corrupt practice in the state without even informing or obtaining the consent of his superiors in the in the MACC headquarters in Putrajaya (HQ) or his superior on the ground, the director of Selangor of MACC.” (Para 23).

Hishammuddin blatantly abused his powers when he launched the massive 33-officer operation which resulted in TBH’s death “solely on a mere belief and without supporting facts” (Para 184) based on a “mere” telephone call (Para 188).

These are revelations which would justify police re-opening investigations into TBH’s death to find out who gave Hishammuddin the sense of immunity and impunity for breaking laws and committing crimes, going over the head of his superior in Selangor and in national headquarters resulting in TBH’s death?

LEAD FOUR –

A few days after TBH’s tragic death on 16th July 2009, a “black blog” appeared which accused DAP of TBH’s murder to distract public attention from the real cause of TBH’s death – raising the suspicion that the “black blog” was the work of people responsible for killing him.

Furthermore, the “black blog” had the finger prints of MACC or MACC officers as it contained documents related to TBH investigations which were only in the possession of MACC.

This is the fourth lead justifying the re-opening of police investigations into TBH’s death as police investigation into who was behind the “black blog” would probably have found TBH’s killers as well.

[Speech (Part 2) at the DAP forum on “Teoh Beng Hock Royal Commission Inquiry Report – Where is the promised truth?” on Tuesday, 26th July 2011 at 9 pm]

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