Malaysia's police to reopen probe into 2009 death of political aide Teoh Beng Hock

PETALING JAYA (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - The police have reopened investigations into the 2009 death of Mr Teoh Beng Hock, the political secretary to Selangor executive councillor Ean Yong Hian Wah, said Inspector-General of Police Khalid Abu Bakar.

Mr Teoh was found dead on July 16, 2009, on the fifth-floor corridor of Plaza Masalam in Shah Alam after he had given a statement at the office of the Selangor branch of the commission on the 14th floor of the building.

"Following from the Court of Appeal decision of Sept 5, 2014, the Royal Malaysian Police immediately reopened investigations with a special team set up on the instructions of the Attorney-General's Chambers. A complete investigation is still ongoing and the Royal Malaysian Police are in no way ignoring the Court of Appeal's orders," said Tan Sri Khalid in a statement on Monday.

In a unanimous decision on Sept 5, 2014, the panel held that Mr Teoh's death was caused by multiple injuries from a fall from the 14th floor of Plaza Masalam as a result of, or which was accelerated by an unlawful act or acts of persons unknown, inclusive of Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) officers who were involved in his arrest and investigation.

Court of Appeal judge Justice Mohamad Ariff Md Yusof, who chaired a three-man panel, allowed the appeal by Mr Teoh's brother Teoh Meng Kee against the decision of the Shah Alam High Court that had on Dec 1, 2011, dismissed the application for a revision into Mr Teoh's inquest and upheld a coroner's open verdict.

Justice Mohamad Ariff said the interest of the family members and the public requires that the case be further investigated by the police.

"This further investigation should include a more thorough examination of the alleged suicide note by a handwriting expert with a clear expertise in Chinese handwriting and with sufficient copies of the deceased's original sample handwriting be made available," he said.

Mr Khalid added that the police periodically briefed the Attorney-General's Chambers on the progress of the investigation.

"To ensure that there is justice for all parties including the family of the late Teoh, the police need time to conduct the investigation from various angles.

"Therefore we ask for the issue to not be politicised," said Mr Khalid.

Coroner Azmil Muntapha Abas had given an open verdict on Jan 5, 2011 that the death of the political aide was not a suicide, nor was it a homicide.

A Royal Commission of Inquiry into Mr Teoh's death had concluded in July 2011, that Mr Teoh was driven to suicide and blamed intensive interrogation by three MACC officers.