AG says not enough evidence to probe Beng Hock death as homicide

KUALA LUMPUR: Attorney-General Tommy Thomas has said the 2009 death of Teoh Beng Hock cannot be probed under culpable homicide due to lack of evidence, the lawyer representing the late DAP member’s family said today.

Ramkarpal Singh said he was informed of this by Thomas through a letter on July 8.

The letter explained that the order by the AG’s Chambers for police to open an investigation for wrongful confinement was merely an administrative procedure.

“This decision was necessary because despite numerous rounds of scrutiny by officers in the Chambers, of the evidence collected from investigation into possible homicide, the present state of evidence is insufficient to proffer a charge under Section 304 or 304A of the Penal Code,” Thomas wrote.

Thomas also assured that the public prosecutor could reclassify the case under culpable homicide or any other suitable charges if there was sufficient evidence uncovered by police.

Teoh was an aide to a DAP executive councillor in Selangor.

He was found dead on the fifth floor of a building which housed the Selangor branch of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC), hours after he was arrested by the anti-graft agency.

A royal commission of inquiry to look into his death later concluded that Teoh was driven to suicide due to MACC’s extreme interrogation methods.

Thomas said investigations for wrongful confinement were consistent with the Court of Appeal’s finding that Teoh was not free to leave MACC’s premise although he was never placed under arrest.

But Ramkarpal said Thomas’ explanation that there was insufficient evidence to probe the case under homicide was unacceptable.

“We take a very different view than his. We feel there is sufficient evidence for homicide.

“We urge the AG to scrutinise the evidence before him,” he said.

Ramkarpal said he would accompany Teoh’s family members to meet Thomas this week.