Thai Celebrity Forensic Pathologist Drops Bombshell
Thai celebrity forensic pathologist Dr.Pornthip Rojanasunand has dropped a bombshell exploding the Teoh Beng Hock Inquest into world news.
Dr. Pornthip has given her expert opinion that Teoh,a political aide,was most likely killed instead of falling to his death in a suicide.
Now Teoh's family wants to exhume his body for a second post-mortem by Dr.Pornthip to find out the truth.
This second autopsy should be done soonest possible, said Teoh's sister,Teoh Lee Lan, at the family home in Taman Seri Kelemak in Alor Gajah in Malaysia yesterday (Oct.25,2009).
Teoh,the political secretary of Selangor state executive councillor Ean Yong Hian Wah, was found dead on the fifth floor podium of Plaza Masalam in Shah Alam,the state capital of Selangor, on July 16,2009.
His sudden death hours after detention for questioning by Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission(MACC) officers at its office on the 14th floor of the highrise building had raised many questions.
Last Wednesday,Dr.Pornthip testified at the Teoh Beng Hock Inquest that two previous Malaysian pathologists' theory that Teoh had committed suicide was "only 20 percent" possible.
She stressed that Teoh's injuries were not consistent with a fall from height.Instead,they appeared to be "pre-fall injuries".To ascertain the truth,Dr.Pornthip said she would be willing to conduct a second post-mortem if Teoh's remains were exhumed for the purpose.
Dr.Pornthip stated that "the marks on Teoh's neck looked like he had been manually strangled".
Dr.Pornthip is the renowned author of the best-selling Thai book entitled: "Investigation of Corpses".
National Geographic's documentary,"Crime Scene Bangkok" in 2004 propelled Dr. Pornthip into the international media limelight.
The Selangor state government had invited Dr.Pornthip,who is the director-general of Thailand's Ministry of Justice Central Institute of Forensic Science, to give her expert opinion.
Based on examination of the post-mortem reports prepared by Dr.Khairul Aznam of the Klang Tengku Rahimah Ampuan hospital and Dr.Prashant Samberker of Universiti Malaya Medical Centre and pictures of Teoh's injuries,Dr.Pornthip testified that the likelihood of Teoh's death due to homicide was "80 percent".
She referred to an anal tear suffered by Teoh as a "penetrative injury" that she had not seen in cases of a fall.
She also said Teoh appeared to have been beaten up because of abrasions on Teoh's right upper thigh like in a torture.
The fracture on Teoh's skull was also more compatible with a blunt force directly inflicted to the head,she added.
Teoh could have been unconscious from manual strangulation or pain from the anal region before he died between 6 a.m. and 8 a.m. on July 16,2009..
Responding to Dr.Pornthip's testimony,Selangor Mentri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim held a press conference urging Malaysia's federal government to set up a full royal commission of inquiry instead of the current partial royal probe into interrogation methods used by the MACC.
Malaysia's influential Bar Council also called for the full royal commission of inquiry into Teoh's death.
Its president Ragunath Kesavan stressed in a press statement that Dr.Pornthip's testimony had raised serious issues about the cause of Teoh's death and MACC's interrogation techniques.
Ragunath expressed concern that Teoh was interrogated overnight for more than eight hours without access to legal counsel at the MACC premises.
"It is evident now,more than ever,that the scope of the royal commission's investigations must not be limited to reviewing the MACC's interrogation methods alone as proposed by the government," he added.
The government must now respect public opinion and expand the royal commission of inquiry into a full probe instead of a "divide and rule" MACC technique probe and coroner's inquest.
Teoh had been detained by MACC for questioning as "a witness" in its probe into alleged irregular use of state funds in Selangor.But unfortunately,he died and his corpse found several floors below the MACC premises.
As Selangor is ruled by the opposition-led People Alliance,the National Front federal government must take the necessary steps to clear up the mess.