Dr Pornthip Rojanasunand has said she declined to perform a second autopsy on security guard C. Sugumar as the Malaysian government was not happy with her previous work in the death of DAP political aide Teoh Beng Hock.
Sugumar’s family lawyer N. Surendran said last Tuesday that the Thai forensic pathologist made the sudden about-turn after he announced that she was due to arrive next Wednesday for the post-mortem on Sugumar, who allegedly died from police brutality last month.
Dr Pornthip (picture) told The Malaysian Insider via email yesterday that the deputy to the permanent secretary of Thailand’s Ministry of Justice (MOJ) had informed her of a message from the Malaysian government that it was “not happy with my work, especially in (the) case of TBH (Teoh Beng Hock).”
Dr Pornthip had observed Teoh’s second post-mortem and testified at both a coroner’s inquest and before a royal commission that foul play was likely involved in the DAP aide’s mysterious death at the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission’s (MACC) Selangor headquarters in 2009.
The royal commission subsequently concluded that Teoh was driven to suicide after aggressive and relentless interrogation by three MACC officers.
“I told the lawyer that I’m (a) government officer under (the) Ministry of Justice that need(s) permission from (the) permanent secretary,” said Dr Pornthip, who is the director of Thailand’s Central Institute of Forensic Science, which is under the MOJ. Dr Pornthip stressed that she needed to have the authority to perform the autopsy on Sugumar without any limitations, but did not specify if the MOJ had prohibited her from doing so.
“Please send my message to your people that I’ve never wanted to (be) involved in politics. I understand that each country have (sic) their own justice system, but there should be no barrier for the people to seek justice,” she said.
She added that she would send The Malaysian Insider the document from the MOJ later.
Dr Pornthip is well known in Thailand for clashing with the authorities, especially for alleging police killings during then-Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra’s anti-drug campaign in 2003.
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak has ordered a forensic report on Sugumar after the 39-year-old’s death was raised at a Cabinet meeting.
Health Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai was directed to oversee the forensic report after MIC president Datuk Seri G. Palanivel, who is also a minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, had raised the security guard’s death during the Cabinet meeting.
Several witnesses who saw Sugumar collapse on a street near his home in Batu 12, Hulu Langat on January 23 have accused the policemen who arrested him of beating up the man, together with the help of a mob, after he was handcuffed.
The police have denied the allegations, pointing out that the initial post-mortem by Serdang Hospital showed that Sugumar had died of a heart attack.
Sugumar’s death joins a list of other alleged police killings like the custodial deaths of Chang Chin Te earlier this year as well as A. Kugan and R. Gunasegaran in 2009; the deadly police shooting of 14-year-old schoolboy Aminulrasyid Amzah in 2010; and various other fatal police shootings in the past two years.
What are the people going to say about the government interference into this autopsy affairs. Why all the negative reports about the BN government If they are genuinely clean, effective and trustworthy government. Can`t the authorities do something good for a change. Is it too much to ask for?
If such case happen in other country, the government will be pressed like hell from a lot of NGO and media. Look at Malaysia, the NGO is controlled by government using the law and created by themselves so anything the government do is correct.
Simple.The top cops currently work for UMNO.In return UMNO protects them by preventing the truth from surfacing.If there's no guilt,why then the fear?Justice can only be served when this axis of evil between the security services and UMNO is dismantled with a change in government.
Please vote out evil devil tainted BN/UMNO in GE 13 to get justice done and judiciary clean up for good!