Group Demands Review of Beng Hock Inquest After Judge Charged with Graft

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The Teoh Beng Hock Trust for Democracy said the corruption charge against the judge who presided over the political aide’s death inquest has put the outcome under suspicion.

Noting that Sessions Court judge Azmil Muntapha Abas was charged with corruption in a high-profile case by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission, the group said the development suggested a need to review his decision in Teoh’s death inquest.

It said Azmil’s open verdict for the inquest had caused dissatisfaction, especially after he conceded that Teoh had suffered an injury to his neck prior to his fall.

“Therefore, Teoh Beng Hock Trust for Democracy urges the government to conduct a thorough investigation on the possible undue influence and monetary benefits involved in the inquest into the death of Teoh Beng Hock,” it said in a statement.

Fion Yap/Malaysiakini

“The corruption charge shows the integrity of Azmil Muntapha Abas is questionable, and it raises doubt that there were undue influences and monetary benefits in previous cases ruled by him,” the trust’s chairman, Ng Geok Chee, said in a statement.

It further demanded that the police act on the report it lodged earlier this year seeking murder investigations against 10 MACC officers implicated in Teoh’s death.

Azmil, a judge at the Kuala Kubu Baru Sessions Court, was charged early this month with accepting a bribe amounting RM17,500 in the release of undocumented migrant workers.

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His open verdict in the 2011 inquest ruled that Teoh’s death was neither a suicide nor a homicide.

An appeals court overturned the verdict in 2014, ruling that Teoh’s death was caused by a fall as a result of, or accelerated by, an unlawful act or acts of persons unknown.

The Teoh Beng Hock trust said any re-investigation of his death must probe all available clues and persons involved in the case, including MACC officers, policemen, coroner, pathologist and others.