Teoh Beng Hock suffered several injuries before his fall
SHAH ALAM, 21 Oct 2009: Well-known Thai pathologist Dr Porntip Rojanasunan told the coroner’s court here today that there was an 80% possibility of homicide and 20% chance of suicide in the death of political aide Teoh Beng Hock.
Testifying in English, she said Teoh suffered several injuries before he suffered a fall and died after being questioned by the Selangor Malaysian Anti-Corruption Agency (MACC).
She said the injuries on Teoh included a penetration in the anal region, an abrasion on the thigh and strangle bruises on the neck, and they were incompatible with a fall from a height.
The 54-year-old expert, who was asked by the Selangor government to testify on the cause of Teoh’s death, said her findings were based on the autopsy reports of Dr Khairul Azman and Dr Prashant Naresh Samberkar and post-mortem pictures made available to her.
Teoh, the political aide of Selangor state executive councillor Ean Yong Hian Wah, was found dead on 16 July on the fifth floor of Plaza Masalam, after giving a statement in the case of alleged misuse of state allocations at the Selangor MACC office. The MACC office is located in Plaza Masalam.
Dr Porntip is now director-general of the Central Institute of Forensic Science, Ministry of Justice, Thailand, and has 27 years experience in the field of forensic science.
The Thai expert came to the court at 8.50am wearing a tight top, long black skirt and boots, with a funky red and light brown streaked hairstyle.
She also prepared a slide presentation for the court to better understand her testimony.
“From the post-mortem picture, I found that there was a contusion on the right side of the neck, which we (pathologists) call a handle bruise, and this injury is compatible with injury caused by manual strangulation,” said Dr Porntip, who has conducted more than 10,000 post-mortems.
She said the injury was not indicated in the autopsy reports prepared by Dr Khairul Azman and Dr Prashant, which were given to her for examination.
“I also found penetration injury in the anal region which can be caused by inserting an object in that particular part. I have never seen such injury in cases of a fall from a height,” she said, pointing to the post-mortem pictures displayed on the slide.
She said she also found an abrasion on an upper thigh of Teoh which could have been caused by beating.
“Another injury which I found was fracture of the skull, which may have been caused by a direct blunt force to the skull prior to the fall,” said Dr Porntip, who is the 30th witness at the inquest.
She said it was possible that Teoh was unconscious when he fell from the fifth floor, based on the absence of reaction injuries on the body. She added that the wounds looked like pre-fall injuries, and the severe chest injury was the result of the primary impact on the ground.
When asked by counsel for the Selangor government, Malik Imtiaz Sarwar, as to the abrasion mark found under Teoh’s shoe, the forensic expert said: “It looks like the body was dragged.
“In normal cases of a fall from a height, the shoes would not have left an abrasion mark like this,” she explained.
When asked by coroner Azmil Muntapha Abas whether the floor surface could have caused the dragging effect, Dr Porntip replied: “Hard and rough surface.”
“However my forensic team did not find anything that may have caused this effect when they examined the 14th floor (MACC office) the last time,” she said. — Bernama