Malaysia

A-G says Teoh’s death referred back to MACC

By Shannon Teoh
April 05, 2012

KUALA LUMPUR, April 5 —Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail refused today to clarify whether his office would prosecute three anti-graft officers who allegedly drove Teoh Beng Hock to suicide.

The Attorney-General only told reporters that "the case has been referred back to the MACC" after meeting Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz and Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission investigations chief Datuk Mustafar Ali this evening.

"I only charge, not investigate. I don't want to argue with you," Gani (picture) said when asked about whether there was criminal wrongdoing by the graftbusters.

De facto law minister Nazri said in a written reply in Parliament to Serdang MP Teo Nie Ching yesterday that police were investigating the case and the Attorney-General's Chambers was now studying investigation papers after a complaint lodged by Teoh's sister Lee Lan on October 28 last year.

But Teo, the DAP deputy publicity chief, told reporters this morning that the latest reply contradicted Nazri's March 29 reply to PKR's Gopeng MP Lee Boon Chye when he said "the AGC has found no criminal wrongdoing... no legal action will be taken against the three MACC officers."

The minister in the prime minister's department had said on October 24, 2011 that the AG was not pursuing legal action against the three MACC officers implicated in the DAP aide's 2009 death as no police report had been lodged and there was a lack of investigative evidence.

The Padang Rengas MP refused to comment on the matter earlier today, only sending a message through his aide for reporters to "clarify with the AG as his officer provided the response."

Teoh, political aide to Seri Kembangan assemblyman Ean Yong Hian Wah, was found dead on July 16, 2009 on the fifth-floor corridor of Selangor MACC’s office in Shah Alam after overnight questioning.

A coroner's inquest returned an "open verdict" ruling out both suicide and homicide, leading Datuk Seri Najib Razak to order a royal commission of inquiry (RCI) after public uproar.

The royal panel found that the three MACC investigating officers involved in the case used “continuous, aggressive and improper questioning tactics on TBH which had breached its existing standard operating procedures” and recommended that action be taken against them.

A previous RCI in 2007 probing allegations that appointments of judges were fixed also recommended action against senior lawyer Datuk VK Lingam, tycoon Tan Sri Vincent Tan, Umno secretary general Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor, former Chief Justices Tun Eusoff Chin and Tun Ahmad Fairuz Sheikh Abdul Halim as well as Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

But Gani. who has been A-G since 2002, has not prosecuted any individual implicated in either RCI.

His failure do so, combined with allegations by former senior police officers that he fabricated evidence in high-profile cases such as Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim's "black eye" case in 1998, has led to calls that a Tribunal be set up to investigate the claims of misconduct