By Debra Chong
KUALA LUMPUR, April 11 — Thai pathologist Dr Pornthip Rojanasunand’s reluctance to testify further in the Teoh Beng Hock inquest will not be a setback to uphold her homicide theory, lawyer Gobind Singh Deo said today.
The Teoh family lawyer also pointed out the Thai pathologist’s withdrawal is not the first time she has been harassed in the inquest which resumes April 20.
“I’m still of the view that we have established most of what we need to,” he said when asked if Dr Pornthip Rojanasunand’s withdrawal from the ongoing case is a setback.
“The assistance given to us by Dr Pornthip, to date, has been indeed most useful,” he said today.
Gobind noted her efforts prompted the inquest to order an exhumation of Teoh’s remains for a second autopsy. The political aide died mysteriously last July 16 after overnight interrogation at the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) Selangor office.
“It is indeed most unfortunate that Dr Pornthip finds herself in her current predicament. This is not the first time she has complained of harassment in her handling of the Teoh Beng Hock inquest,” said Gobind.
He also could not confirm if the coroner, Azmil Muntapha Abbas, has been informed of the latest development.
Gobind added that he is making alternative arrangements with the lawyer for the Selangor state government which had engaged Dr Pornthip, for her to testify.
He did not discount the possibility of the 54-year-old testifying by video-conference as disclosed by a senior aide in the Selangor Mentri Besar’s (MB) office today.
“I will speak to Malik Imtiaz about that,” Gobind told The Malaysian Insider, referring to the state government’s lawyer.
“If that too fails, we will have to proceed with what we have and we are confident we will still be able to succeed in establishing our case which is that Teoh Beng Hock did not commit suicide but instead his was a clear case of homicide,” he stressed.
Another aide in the Selangor MB’s office told The Malaysian Insider the state government will first ask the federal government for help.
“We hope that the federal government will assist us to have Dr Pornthip here,” Tricia Yeoh said in a text-message.
The flashy Thai pathologist could not be contacted to verify the reasons for not continuing her testimony into Teoh’s mysterious death.