22 September 2011
Disputed, Malaysia’s top DNA lab...DID NOT HAVE ISO/IEC 17025:2005 and ISO17025 ISO9001 a generic standard for management systems in organisations,
Malaysia’s foremost DNA testing facility was dragged into the spotlight today, after an Australian scientist disputed its international accreditation at the Sodomy II trial today.
Dr Brian McDonald, a key witness in Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s defence, insisted that the national chemistry department’s laboratory in Petaling Jaya did not have ISO 17025 certification, which he said its head of forensics, Dr Seah Lay Hoong, had previously claimed.
The Australian DNA consultant told the court this could cause the lab to be seen as “incompetent” in carrying out DNA analyses and other tests crucial to so many cases, including criminal cases.
The prosecution’s case against Anwar has largely rested on the results of lab evidence linking the 64-year-old PKR leader to the DNA profile tagged “Male Y”.
The defence team has been working round-the-clock over the past few months to disprove that link, arguing that Dr Seah’s methods were questionable because she had failed to carry out certain procedures that are standard to other laboratories worldwide.
Dr McDonald said those labs that meet the minimum quality systems required can apply to be internationally recognised by certain bodies, such as the American Society of Crime Lab Directors (ASCLD), or Australia’s National Association of Testing Authorities (NATA).
However, when challenged by the prosecution, Dr McDonald was unable to prove that Dr Seah had specifically and directly said that the government lab had indeed been given ISO 17025 certification.
He conceded, after a protracted exchange with lead prosecution counsel Datuk Yusof Zainal Abiden, that he had inferred as such because he had “assumed” Dr Seah was talking about the same certification when she testified in the trial.
Yusof suggested to Dr McDonald that Dr Seah could have referred to the ISO 9001 certification when she told the court the Petaling Jaya lab had ISO qualifications.
The Solicitor-General II also said that the government’s foremost DNA expert was not misleading the court when she added that the lab was ASCLD-accredited because it had certification under the Legacy programme.
The trial resumes tomorrow.
The National chemistry department’s laboratory that did the DNA tests DID NOT HAVE
is for General requirements for the competence of testing and calibration laboratories http://www.iso.org/iso/iso_catalogue/catalogue_tc/catalogue_detail.htm?csnumber=39883
The National chemistry department’s laboratory that did the DNA tests HAVE
is for Quality management systems -- Requirements http://www.iso.org/iso/iso_catalogue/catalogue_tc/catalogue_detail.htm?csnumber=46486
In short, to conform to international standards, a DNA forensic lab needs ISO17025
ISO9001 is a generic standard for management systems in organisations, such as companies
SO the facts look to me that the prosecutor Yusof is the one trying to mislead the court and the rakyat
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