Friday, April 01, 2011

RCI: MACC man watched porn after quizzing Teoh

RCI: MACC man watched porn after quizzing Teoh
S Pathmawathy
Mar 31, 11
5:52pm
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A Selangor Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) officer was found to have downloaded and watched pornography on his office computer instead of monitoring his witness, Teoh Beng Hock.
This bombshell was dropped by the royal commission of inquiry into Teoh's death panel chief Justice James Foong today.
He mentioned this in passing when Bar Council lawyer Cheow Wee was quizzing former Selangor MACC deputy director Hishamuddin Hashim on his internal memorandum which warned officers to keep an eye on visitors, witnesses or suspects when they are on the commission's premises.
NONEAt one point, Foong said that assistant superintendent Mohd Ashraf Mohd Yunus (right) was indulging in pornography on his computer.
Ashraf had said previously that he was ordered by Selangor MACC investigations unit head Hairul Ilham Hamzah to assist enforcement officer Arman Alias, in questioning Teoh from 10.30pm to 12.30am on July 15.
Foong: In my opinion, since you are by nature hardworking and in the office, why is there a relaxed attitude in your office, the way (in which) the witnesses are watched? Why is that? I want to know why there is no security?

Hishamuddin:
Orders have been issued. It is up to them to take care of the witnesses.
Foong: Why you don't ask the officers what they are doing (when you are in the office at that hour)?

Hishamuddin: (They don't tell me) unless I ask.

Foong: Do you know that Ashraf had downloaded pornography about 1.20am (on July 16, 2009). When an operation was going on, he was watching pornography on a website.

Taken aback, Hishamuddin responded after a short pause that “it was beyond his control” to watch over his subordinates.

“This is not work related... there must be self-initiative (to not do such things),” he said.
The incident occurred roughly an hour after he had assisted another colleague in interviewing Teoh.

Foong did not reveal how the panel came to such a conclusion but previously, the commission had instructed its private investigator Michael Leslie Squires to confiscate computers and laptops of all MACC officers directly involved in investigating Teoh.

azlanTeoh, the political aide to Seri Kembangan assemblyperson Ean Yong Hian Wah, was taken in on July 15, 2009 and questioned on allegations of state funds misuse by his employer.

He was found dead the next day on the fifth floor service corridor of Plaza Masalam, Shah Alam. The MACC's Selangor office is located on the 14th floor of the same building.
Foong countered back that “there is a government order” against such acts and as a commanding officer, Hishamuddin should keep a close watch on his officers activities.

Hishamuddin, however, asserted that he can only “take care if it is a work-related matter” but added that if the event took place “in front” of him, he will reprimand the officer.

“I have more important work,” he said.

“The commissioners are a little shocked. The officer is watching pornographic material although there are government orders against it,” said Foong.

The chief commissioner said that further information pertaining to their findings will be given to the MACC and Bar Council.

'Positively identified on 13 occasions'


At the proceeding this morning, Ashraf was the topic of contention as commissioner Mohamed Hatta Shaharom revealed that the graft buster was singled out positively on 13 occasions in identification parades.

This were in relation to police reports of abuse and torture against Ashraf, which had first been revealed at the coroner's court during Teoh's inquest.

Recently, it was reported that there were 59 cases relating to physical and psychological abuse against the MACC nationwide, with 21 concentrated on Selangor, between 2005 and 2010.

Although Ashraf had denied ill-treating his case subjects, the royal commission had divulged during the inquiry previously that police were halted in their probe on such allegation as there was no cooperation from the MACC.

“You have been there for about 19 years... the MACC is at a crossroads. Coming back to Ashraf, from the information we have, 13 times he was positively identified in identification parades.

NONE“It's true that the police did the investigation and there are stages in investigation... but what bothers me as a member of the public, is that how come one officer is identified 13 times?

“What bothers me is the logic (behind this). How can an officer who has been identified repeatedly (still be kept in the force)?” asked Mohamed Hatta (right).

He explained that the intention of the royal commission was to fix the MACC's image and raise the standards of its officers, not to “crucify the agency”.

“You story is like a nice (cantik) movie... cakap pujuk, (kalau) tak dapat cakap lagi (talk and coax, (if) don't get it talk again),” said Mohamed Hatta, casting doubt on Hishamuddin's assertion that MACC had never condoned the use of force.

Throughout his testimony, Hishamuddin stressed that the MACC does not threaten their subjects or use violence against them to coax a statement.

He said that by doing so it was of “no benefit” to the anti-graft agency as there is a risk of the subject becoming hostile during court proceedings.
During his testimony at the inquiry, he said that the police had tried to hold him responsible for Teoh's death.

The inquiry resumes on Saturday with Thai forensics expert Dr Porntip Rojanansunan, who supported the theory of homicide at Teoh's inquest.

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