Saturday, July 23, 2011

Suspend and charge three MACC officers responsible for Teoh Beng Hock’s death

--Lim Kit Siang
July 23, 2011

The Teoh Beng Hock Royal Commission of Inquiry Report, in Para 119, pronounced its finding on Teoh Beng Hock’s death, as follows:

“119. Having considered all the evidence in its entirety, we found that TBH was driven to commit suicide by the aggressive, relentless, oppressive and unscrupulous interrogation to which he was subjected by certain officers of the MACC who were involved in the ongoing operation by the Selangor MACC on the night of the 15th and into the morning of the 16th.”

Malaysians cannot accept the RCI’s verdict of “forced suicide” as the cause of Beng Hock’s death.

Clearly MACC and MACC officers were responsible for his death at MACC headquarters at Shah Alam on July 16, 2009 through “aggressive, relentless, oppressive and unscrupulous interrogation” – leaving to everybody’s imagination of the unlawful and even lawless torture Beng Hock was subjected to when he was entirely at the mercy of the “oppressive and unscrupulous” MACC officers for 12 hours on those fateful hours on the night of July 15 and the early hours of July 16, 2009.

What is unacceptable about the TBH RCI report is its failure to clearly and unmistakably state in its conclusion that MACC and MACC officers were responsible for Beng Hock’s death, although it is clear from the report that the commissioners agree that the MACC and MACC officers were responsible for Beng Hock’s death.
This is evident from two paragraphs in the TBH RCI report referring to the testimony of one MACC officer Raymond who had testified that he saw Beng Hock at 6 am on the 16th July 2009 “lying on the sofa outside Nadzri’s room”.

Expressing “grave reservations” over Raymond’s evidence, the TBH RCI said (Para 198):

“In our opinion, he was not a reliable witness and was used by those responsible for TBN’s death to distance them from their wrongdoings by creating an impression that TBH was not only alive at 6am on the 16th but was also resting comfortably and peacefully on the sofa outside Nadzri’s room.”

In Para 201, the TBH RCI said:

“ As it become obvious to us that Raymond’s evidence was tailored to fit certain objectives which in this case dovetailed those of the MACC officers responsible for TBH’s death, we rejected his evidence as being unworthy of any weight or consideration in respect of the time he claimed to have seen TBH at 6am on the 16th.”

From both these paragraphs, referring to “MACC officers responsible for TBH’s death”, it is crystal clear that the TBH Royal Commission of Inquiry is quite unanimous about who the MACC officers who caused Beng Hock’s death, but the question is why the TBH RCI did not specifically name these “MACC officers responsible for TBH’s death” and spoke instead about “forced suicide”?

Who are these “MACC officers responsible for TBH’s death”? Although the RCI report did not specifically name such persons, their identities are quite clear from Para 225 which said:

“During his interrogation, TBH had to face MACC interrogation heavyweights like Arman and bully [who would manipulate his witness to obtain evidence], Ashraf the abuser [who was Machiavellian in his method to secure evidence] and HH the arrogant leader [who would have no qualms in lying as long as his ends were achieved, regardless of the means employed].”

The “credentials” of Asraf “the abuser” is to be found in Para 158, which said:

“From police records tendered in this inquiry by one DSP Kamaruddin Awang from the Selangor police criminal investigation section, out of the twenty cases reported against the Selangor MACC officers for assault, Ashraf was involved in fourteen of them and was positively identified by a majority of those who had made the reports against him.”

What about “HH” (Hishammuddin Hashim, at the relevant time the deputy director of Selangor MACC and “mastermind” of the operation resulting in Beng Hock’s death)?

Read Para 176 on TBH RCI’s indictment on “HH”:

“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 Negeri Sembilan.”

The MACC is one of the most important law enforcement agencies in the country to uphold the law, but anyone reading the TBH RCI report cannot escape getting the impression that the MACC, particularly in Selangor, was utterly lawless as it had become a den of criminals with MACC officers blatantly subverting the law.

MACC and MACC officers not only caused Beng Hock’s death through “aggressive, relentless, oppressive and unscrupulous interrogation” and unlawful misconduct, they broke law after law in the massive MACC operation “masterminded” by Hishammuddin without proper basis, followed by a conspiracy of lies and perjury about what happened – all the way up to the Royal Commission of Inquiry public hearings.

MACC has announced that it accepts with an open heart the findings of the TBH RCI and pledged that appropriate action would be taken on RCI findings and recommendations.

The Attorney-General and MACC should explain why the three MACC officers Hishammuddin, Arman and Arshraf have not been suspended and no criminal charges and departmental disciplinary action taken against them despite RCI report holding them responsible for Teoh Beng Hock’s death.

Furthermore, the TBH RCI have virtually dismissed the whole cast of MACC witnesses at the RCI (except for two “brave” souls Azeem and Azian) as liars, which means they had all committed perjury.

Section 193 of Penal Code prescribes seven years jail and fine for giving false evidence at judicial proceeding like the TBH RCI.

Will the whole lot of MACC witnesses (except for Azeem and Azian) be charged for perjury at the TBH RCI?

** Media Conference Statement at Kampong Simee DAP Service Centre after Kg Simee market walkabout

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