KUALA LUMPUR: Lawyer Karpal Singh will file an application to have Attorney-General Abdul Gani Patail take the stand on Aug 18 over the suicide note purportedly penned by the late Teoh Beng Hock.
“Given the media statement (by his office) on the matter, the AG has become a vital witness and he must explain to the coroner what had transpired,” he told FMT.
Karpal is representing Teoh's family in the inquest to determine the former DAP political aide's cause of death.
Teoh was found dead after a marathon grilling at the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission's Selangor office in Shah Alam.
Meanwhile, Karpal said Gani himself had doubted the authencity of the suicide note, and the latter must explain what had prompted his office to tender it as evidence at the tail-end of the inquest.
The veteran lawyer said that the document should not be seen as a suicide note simply because it ended with the word, “Goodbye”.
Normally, he said, suicide notes would be addressed to the father, mother, wife or any next-of-kin, but in this case, it was addressed to the MACC.
"The note generally stated that he (Teoh) coud not stand the manner in which he was being interrogated by the MACC, which wanted him to implicate certain individuals,” he said.
“Even if one accepts the authencity of the note, it could still implicate MACC officers based on the possibility that they had driven him to suicide with the nature of their interrogation,” he added.
A-G's Chambers denies supressing evidence
According to reports, the AG was informed about the discovery of the note in Teoh's slingbag by investigation officer ASP Ahmad Nazri Zainal, two months after the victim was found dead.
Teoh, 30, was found dead on the fifth floor of Plaza Masalam, Shah Alam, on July 16 last year.
When the note was introduced on Monday, Karpal's son and counsel Gobind was enraged, and accused the A-G's Chambers of withholding crucial evidence.
The chambers denied the allegation, saying that it was equally startled when the discovery of the note was made known and ruled that it warranted further investigation.
It said that Gani was not convinced of the authenticity of the note due to insufficient samples to verify the handwriting, in particular the Chinese characters.
This, it said, was compounded by the timing of the note surfacing and that it would raise suspicion on its authenticity and discovery.
Based on these factors, the chambers said Gani ruled that the note should not be tendered "until and unless the investigation officer could provide satisfactory explanation of its discovery".
"The A-G's Chambers was earlier briefed by the investigation officer that he conducted a thorough search after being advised by a psychiatrist that ordinarily there would be a note left in a suicide case.
"However, recently the officer admitted that he did in fact find the note when searching the slingbag on July 17 last year, but did not realise the significance of it as there were other documents as well that were written in Chinese and Roman characters found," said the chambers.
It was following this, the chambers said, the A-G decided to put the note in and directed the investigation officer to explain the matter in court and let the coroner decide on its weight.
In a related development, Thai forensic expert Dr Pornthip Rojanasunand is scheduled to testify again at the inquest on Aug 18.
Her previous testimony that there was a 80% probability of Teoh being murdered had paved the way for a second post-mortem.