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Unidentified DNA trace found on Teoh’s body, inquest told

SHAH ALAM, 29 July 2009: The DNA trace of an unidentified man was found on the back of the blazer and on the belt of political aide Teoh Beng Hock, the inquest into Teoh’s death was told today before it was adjourned to 5 Aug.

Government-appointed lawyer Tan Hock Chuan, who is assisting the inquest conducted by coroner Azmil Muntapha Abas, told the court that the “mystery man” had yet to be identified, although samples of DNA from 102 individuals have been taken by the Chemistry Department.

Tan said besides the DNA trace, Teoh’s DNA was also found on the blazer and belt.

“Samples were taken from 102 individuals to determine whether their DNA profile matches the unidentified trace. The DNA profile reports of 90 individuals are ready, while 12 have yet to be obtained.

“I was also informed by the investigating officer that two people had declined to have their DNA samples taken,” Tan said. 

Teoh, 30, political aide to Selangor state executive councillor Ean Yong Hian Wah, was found dead on 16 July on the fifth floor of Plaza Masalam here after having given a statement as a witness to the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) over allegations of misuse of funds by Selangor state executive councillors. The MACC office is located on the 14th floor of Plaza Masalam.

On 22 July, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak announced that an inquest would be held into Teoh’s death. He also said a royal commission of inquiry would be set up to determine the standard operating procedure for questioning of witnesses and suspects by the MACC.

At the inquest today, lawyer Gobind Singh Deo, who is holding a watching brief for Teoh’s family, wanted to know whether the DNA profile of any of the 90 individuals matched the DNA trace of the unidentified man. He said this was one more reason why the court should adjourn the hearing, pending the outcome of the whole process of DNA profiling.

Tan said it would be better for the chemist himself to say whether any of the 90 DNA profiles matched the DNA trace.

Earlier, Gobind had asked for an adjournment of the inquest for at least 10 days to allow time to study all the reports relevant to the case.

He had also said the hearing should be adjourned until the prime minister replied to a request for the cause of Teoh’s death to be determined by the royal commission of inquiry.

“If the prime minister accedes to the request, then there is no necessity for this inquest,” he said.

Gobind said the family was attending the inquest under protest, not with any intention to belittle the court, but to convey the stand that the cause of Teoh’s death should be determined by the royal commission of inquiry.

He also questioned why Teoh’s family was not given notice of the inquest as legally required, which was at least two weeks from the date of death.

Outside the court, Gobind told reporters he hoped the police would wrap up their investigations and send their report to him.

“They have found DNA traces on the body. It is very important for me to identify who it belongs to,” he said, adding that he was happy with the adjournment as it would give him time to prepare the case in greater detail. — Bernama

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