“We cannot accept or respect this verdict”
SHAH ALAM (Jan 5, 2011): The open verdict is one that will not be accepted by the family of Teoh Beng Hock, and they demand answers to his death and justice to be done.
Speaking in tears in a press conference after the verdict was delivered by coroner Azmil Muntapha Abas at the magistrate’s court here today, Teoh’s younger sister Lee Lan said: “Is this your answer? We cannot accept or respect this verdict. How can we find peace with this verdict? This is a homicide case – everyone can see that.”
Teoh’s mother Teng Shuw Hor was also seen crying.
|From left: Teoh’s mother Teng, sister Lee Lan and father Teoh Leong Hwee
seen outside the court.
Counsel for Teoh’s family Karpal Singh said that the family has been advised to apply for a revision to the verdict to the high court and that the family will push for a finding of homicide.
“The coroner should not have given an open verdict. This is a miscarriage of justice as the evidence shows that this is homicide,” said Karpal.
Karpal will also be pushing for a Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI), to run concurrently with the revision.
“I do not think the public will accept the decision. We will file for both as soon as possible – it will be given top priority.”
Lead counsel Gobind Singh Deo questioned the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) on the findings by Azmil on pre-fall injuries, and urged the police to relook their reports.
“The standard of investigation was far from satisfactory in many aspects,” said Gobind.
DAP stalwart Lim Kit Siang paralleled Karpal’s comment, adding that the open verdict has pushed the 18-month long case back to the start.
“Although the coroner has accepted that there were pre-fall injuries, there is still a need for a total, comprehensive investigation to all aspects leading to Teoh’s death,” said Lim.
“What happened on July 16, 2009, has shaken public confidence on key institutions to the very root, and that has not been restored or remedied. The PM himself has given assurance to the family that if the family is not satisfied, an RCI will be given. It is time for him to honour his word,” he added.
DAP Seri Kembangan assemblyman Ean Yong Hian Wah expressed disappointment over the verdict. “I am disappointed with the open verdict and we will use all our means to find the truth.”
Ean Yong, for whom Teoh was a political aide, also urged the prime minister to set up the commission.