And this time it won’t be done by unprofessional, incompetent people.
By Debra Chong
SHAH ALAM, Oct 21 – Fresh evidence surrounding Teoh Beng Hock’s death may just be the impetus needed by his family to ask for a second autopsy before the inquest is over.
Lawyer for the Teohs, Gobind Singh Deo, said there were strong reasons for a second medical examination and analysis of Teoh’s body, noting today’s revelation that the 30-year-old may have been strangled just before dying.
“There are grounds to consider a second post-mortem,” he told reporters just after today’s inquest, indicating he would advise them to apply to the coroner’s court for one.
“I have to discuss with them in more detail to move for an exhumation,” he said.
Gobind also said that the family had previously refused a second, independent autopsy to be carried out but did not comment on their reason for it.
But he stressed that the final decision lay in the coroner’s hands.
“Ultimately, the matter is before the coroner. It is now up to the coroner to decide if he has enough evidence to conclude or whether he feels it necessary for a second post-mortem,” the lawyer added.
Magistrate Azmil Muntapha Abas is acting as coroner in Teoh’s inquest. He had earlier indicated that it may be too late to dig up Teoh’s body for a second opinion.
Thailand’s foremost forensic pathologist, Dr Porntip Rojanasunan, gave her expert opinion today on the mystery surrounding the 30-year-old political secretary’s death on July 16.
In her sworn testimony, she told the coroner’s court that Teoh had died as a result of falling from a high place, which supports the findings from the two pathologists who autopsied Teoh.
But Dr Rojanasunan suggested that Teoh could not have fallen to death on his own will because there was strong evidence indicating he had been strangled until he passed out.
The head of the Thai government’s Central Institute of Forensic Science (CIFS) in Bangkok, who had flown here specially for the inquest, said she was willing to carry out another autopsy on Teoh.
Dr Rojanasunan, who had been engaged by the Selangor state government, had earlier noted that the investigation into his death was not complete.
She said that she may be able to provide a more detailed and concrete analysis if she were given the opportunity to check Teoh’s body personally.
The pathologist had not taken part in the first autopsy nor did she inspect the scene where Teoh’s body was found.
Asked if she would be at a disadvantage if she had to perform the autopsy on an exhumed body, Dr Rojanasunan said “no”, but stressed there would be more limits to what she could expect to find the longer it is put off.
She said that carrying out a post-mortem examination even four months after death would still be viable.
However, she wanted it known that she was only involved to give her expert opinion on the subject and not to expose the authorities to ridicule.
The inquest will continue on Nov 9 at 11am.