By Eyes Wide Open
(Continuing from part 1)
Firstly, Teoh Beng Hock was a witness of a corruption investigation by the MACC. He was not a suspect.
OK, JMD. You asked for it! The dictionary definition of witness is:
|1. a. One who can give a firsthand account of something seen, heard, or experienced: b. One who furnishes evidence.2. Something that serves as evidence; a sign.3. In Law: a. One who is called on to testify before a court. b. One who is called on to be present at a transaction in order to attest to what takes place. c. One who signs one’s name to a document for the purpose of attesting to its authenticity.
4. An attestation to a fact, statement, or event; testimony.
5. a. One who publicly affirms religious faith. b. A member of the Jehovah’s Witnesses.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
Here’s the issue. Was TBH a “witness” by any definition of the word? For a person to be a witness, he would have to have firsthand knowledge of a confirmed event. Was there a confirmed crime that occured? I would say NO, or at least NOT YET. In the words of the MACC itself, they were only looking for evidence of the alleged corruption of PR politicians. The charges have not been filed, a case has not even been established,. There is no report of any substantial evidence of wrongdoing! It was a fishing expedition based on a “report” made.
This stage of investigation is supposed to be hush-hush as it is still not established if there is a case at all. If there is evidence, the investigators would not want to give the criminals time to cover their tracks by going public too early. If there is no evidence, the y would not want to embarrass themselves by going on a wild goose chase. But of course, this is Malaysia. From Day 1 the BN-controlled media went to town with the story, even concocting all sorts of allegations themselves!
So anyway, TBH was called in simply to find out if something had really happened. Therefore, at this stage, there may or may not have been a case. HOW CAN TBH BE A WITNESS TO ANYTHING WHEN THERE IS NO CASE TO BE WITNESS TO?! At most, he was a POTENTIAL witness – being questioned to determine if he was a witness to any wrongdoing. As such, TBH was a free citizen, NOT a witness per se, contrary to what many people are trying to make him out to be!
People, this is a very subtle spin that we must watch out for!
Now if he wasn’t a witness, the issue here is: why did a free man with no legal obligation to cooperate have to stay for such long ungodly hours at the MACC office being questioned? To deflect the question of whether TBH’s civil rights were abused, JMD & others would like you to believe that there exists a fantastic passion between TBH & MACC. They would like you to believe that the MACC exuded such an electric attraction that TBH felt compelled to spend the night with them. More on that later.
The public should be aware that there are several kinds of witnesses. During my days as an investigative auditor, there are actually 4 types of witnesses which we will encounter during a criminal investigation:
1) A cooperative one. Voluntary giving statements and evidences as and when asked by the fact-finding interviewers.
2) A passive one. Involuntary and often withhold evidence.
3) A difficult one. Will not cooperate at all with the interviewers. Sometimes they will not tell the truth.
4) A witness cum suspect. They will be treated differently as criminal suspects would have different sets of rights and laws that govern them. For instance, they can be hold in custody in a certain period of time before a criminal charge is brought against them.
Is JMD an ex-cop in the Commercial Crimes Department? He would have to be, otherwise how the hell does he know what kind of witnesses the cops encounter in criminal investigations? From watching CSI prolifically? And witnesses are supposed to provide evidence for or against the suspect/accused. So how can a person be a suspect and witness at the same time? He is either one or the other. You cannot treat a person as suspected of committing a crime and at the same time treat him like an innocent person who saw a crime occur, can you? How do you question him then?
“Right, Mr Jebat, tell us the truth! We got the goods on you – we know you did it and we have the evidence. Unless you didn’t do it, in which case can you kindly tell us what you saw?”
That sounds like a line right out of a Monthy Python sideshow! And JMD expects people to take it seriously? This attempt at sidestepping the issue is merely a clumsy attempt to bridge the cognitive dissonance that TBH was treated to marathon interrogation because he was a witness/suspect. Not guilty but can be treated as if he was guilty? Can you grasp his logic? Because I certainly can’t find a shred of logic in this!
The other issue that needs to be highlighted is that there are no set rules on how to extract information from witnesses. Meaning, there are no fixed laws or procedures that governs the rights of a witness.
Not entirely true. While there may not exist be a codified procedure, there exists a Witness Bill of Rights. You can check it out here http://www.yourrights.org.uk/yourrights/rights-of-victims-and-witnesses/index.html
And credible law enforcement agencies – like Hong Kong’s ICAC, which the MACC is allegedly modeled after – establish their own accountability procedures, even in the absence of legal provisions. Why doesn’t JMD highlight these facts? Why does he attempt to sweep the credibility issue of the MACC – the REAL issue behind the public outrage over TBH’s death – well under the carpet? I mean, his headline screams about “finding the truth”, does it not?
The witness is not a suspect, therefore, he has the rights of a free man. He can come and go anytime he wants. That is why, witnesses under interrogation by the MACC can be called upon many times to shed more light on the investigation.
The ex MP for Serdang, Yap Pian Hon was interrogated by the MACC from 8pm to 6am just to shed some light into a corruption case.
Khir Toyo went up to the MACC office many times to give further assistance to the MACC on his own corruption case. At one point, he was there at odd hours just to cooperate with the MACC.
Aik? Like that also can spin ah? The rights of a free man to “come and go as he wants” is the same as being called in to be “interviewed” until all ungodly hours is it? If a person can come and go anytime he wants, how come he doesn’t want to go home to sleep but instead choose to be yakking with the MACC officers in an interview room? Is the MACC such a fun place to be? They must serve damn good nasi lemak or something. Maybe they have pole dancers and free flow of beer? Nothing like a little sex and booze to loosen the tongue, eh? I’m sure Matahari would agree with me!
And can JMD please furnish the interview hours of Khir Toyo as well? We know the PR guys interview hours already. Nothing unusual for govt dissenters la…
Now, there is this question on why witnesses are sometimes being called upon at odd hours of the day by the MACC.
Here, common sense takes centrestage.
There are 3 reasons why witnesses will be called to divulge information.
I thought JMD was going to highlight “why witnesses are sometimes being called upon at odd hours of the day”? How come suddenly, 1 sentence later, he presents “3 reasons why witnesses will be called”. What happened to the time factor explanation he established in the first place? No more mention in the rest of the article one?
MACC will act promptly upon receiving leads and would straight away call the witness so that:
1) the corruption acts will still be fresh in the memory of the witness. The witness may not remember what had happened if he was only called upon a month after a report has been made.
If that’s the case, then all court cases would be useless lo, since witnesses may be called to take the stand months or even years after the fact. If that’s the case, better ask Saiful to drop the case against Anwar la. The witnesses all unreliable already! So many months have passed and even Saiful’s nether regions have healed to their virgin state…
In fact, by JMD’ logic, any investigation more than a few weeks old should be abandoned as then witnesses won’t remember what happened already. If that’s the case, I think Malaysia will be the first in the world to have a proposal for having a criminal Statute of Limitations of just 1 month!!
2) the witness will not be influenced/threatened by external parties. Imagine if the MACC made appointment with a witness for a session in two weeks time. That will give ample time for anyone to exert influence to the witness.
So how do the perps know that the MACC is going to interview the witness? They advertise in the papers is it? Is there no such thing as witness protection, or at least discretionary confidentiality among MACC? Apparently not. The shocking thing about JMD’s statement is, he thinks that such un-professionalism such as allowing witnesses to be intimidated is the norm to be accepted, so long as the MACC get to him first before the perps.
Besides, the fact that TBH, TBW and others were being called in to be interrogated by the MACC is no secret – every MSM trumpeted it to the world from Day 1. Aren’t the MACC worried that the witnesses, being widely known, would come under duress?
Apparently on planet JMD, telling the whole world that TBH is being squeezed to squeal on his alleged corrupt bosses carries no risk of retaliation, but interviewing him during decent hours does!!
3) the risk of the witness disappear or go out of the country or unavailable will be reduced.
All this spinning is making me dizzy la. For a true-blue account of how the MACC is supposed to work, read my previous post where an ex-ACA investigation director reveals the procedures the MACC is supposed to follow.
Bear in mind, all witnesses are called upon to be at the MACC office on voluntary basis. They are not suspects. That is why Teoh Beng Hock was never remanded or ‘be in custody’ of the MACC. He was a free man throughout the interrogation session.
Yup. Sure. He would certainly prefer to enjoy “malam bersama MACC” than to be at home with his family.
He even had a late night supper with the MACC officers outside the MACC premise on the night of his death. Hence, all these assertions that he was in custody and he was subjected to a ‘grueling marathon’ and sleep deprivation are not true at all.
Wo! Wo! Wo! Now THIS is news indeed? Where did THIS story come from? The MACC? You mean you got the “I interrogated him, had a friendly supper with him, then went back to interrogate him” story from the people suspected of murdering him? That sounds kinda kinky, doncha think? Yup folks, JMD would like you to believe that there is this fantastic passion between them. Yeah, sure I’m gonna believe you!
If eating at a nasi kandar restaurant at midnight and going back at 3.45am is grueling then RPK should have pity on all the auditors of a Big 4 firms where they go home exactly at that time during the long months famously known as the ‘peak period’.
Just what does RPK and accountants have to do with TBH who clearly died on MACC’s watch?
Besides, sleep deprivation kicks in if you had not have enough sleep for more than 5 days.
How do you deprive someone of sleep? By not letting him sleep for 5 days. TBH was not allowed to sleep for one night. MACC reveals that he was supposed to come back for round 2. That’s a possible 2nd night. So therefore, 1 + 1 = 2. If it carries on, 2 + 1 = 3, so on and so forth until the number reaches 5. To dismiss the unusual interview hours as such is to be totally insensitive to the nature of health and life of a fellow human being.
If MACC is labeled as torturing Teoh by not letting him to sleep until 3.45am, then I believe many employers are subjected to imprisonment for torturing their workers. How many of us had stayed up late till wee hours in the morning just to finish a project?
Don’t be stupid, JMD. Those people are paid to do the job and if they don’t like it, they can always tell the boss “screw it” and leave! They certainly don’t end up going out the window now, do they? It’s a completely different and irrelevant context to the case at hand. By the same thread of logic, next thing you know, JMD will be calling for rape to be legalised, because there are plenty of prostitutes willing to sleep with random men, therefore every woman should enjoy the same right!
Anyway, I am digressing.
Yes, you certainly are, JMD – from the real issues.
What is important to know is that Teoh Beng Hock, went there willingly and had cooperated in a fact-finding session with the MACC.
Fact-finding session, as in fishing expedition? So JMD is admitting that there was no evidence yet to establish a case at the time? Then how can JMD be selling the story that TBH was a witness – i.e. someone who actually actually has first-hand knowledge of something that had already happened?
He was allowed to go back home by 3.45am but instead, on his own freewill, loitered around the MACC office and had a conversation with Tan Boon Wah, a Kajang municipal councillor up until 6am.
This was admitted by Tan Boon Wah himself.
TBW reported seeing TBH at about 6am as he was leaving the office. This is the second case of marathon all-night interview. No sleep deprivation exercise? HA! Anyway, TBW did not mention that TBH wanted to hang out with his MACC pals indefinitely. And he did not mention that they chatted for 2 hours until 6 am. Come on la. This is beyond spinning already…this is a blatant lie!
Unbeknown to many of us, the MACC had actually called 3 persons that night. Besides Teoh Beng Hock and Tan Boon Wah, a contractor by the name Lee Wye Wing was also called. He is the technical advisor of WSK Services. He came in as a witness as his name was reported to the MACC. Allegedly, he was the beneficiary of the many projects initiated by DAP Selangor particularly in Sg. Pelek.
He was also in contact with Teoh Beng Hock moments before he died. The reason why his name did not appear in the newspaper was the fact that he immediately flew to China as the body of Teoh Beng Hock was discovered the next day.
Fortunately, the police got hold of him for questioning the moment he returned from China a few days ago.
These two persons, Lee and Boon Wah are the key witnesses to the investigation of the death of Teoh Beng Hock.
Ho! Ho! Ho! This is another piece of news indeed! A 3rd person hitherto unknown except to MACC officers and….J…M…D? How come JMD has so much insider information about the MACC investigation? Since he knows so much, is JMD going to be a material witness to the police? Or is he just passing off 2nd hand information? Or worse – is he fabricating lies to help the powers that be cover up the real case involved?
(to be continued…)