Pornthip Investigated Over Breach Of Discipline


April 02, 2011 20:46 PM

KUALA LUMPUR, April 2 (Bernama) — Thai pathologist Dr Pornthip Rojanasunand who once gave a controversial testimony on the death of Teoh Beng Hock, today admitted that she was now being investigated by the Medical Council of Thailand for alleged breach of discipline.

Questioned by lawyer Datuk Seri Muhammed Shafee Abdullah who is representing the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC), Pornthip also admitted that she was a controversial activist in her country and disliked by the police.

“The proceeding is still on-going and the complainant alleged that you (Pornthip) manufactured evidence,” said Muhammad Shafee before the Commission of Inquiry into Teoh’s death.

Referring to the case of the death of a millionaire in Thailand, Muhammad Shafee said Pornthip had given a wrong opinion on the second autopsy conducted, which resulted in his brother being charged with murder, while the first autopsy found that the millionaire had killed himself.

Muhammad Shafee said Pornthip and her team did the second autopsy and found that the millionaire was killed but from the third autopsy conducted by 11 pathologists from different countries, it was found that the millionaire had committed suicide, the same finding as in the first autopsy.

Pornthip who appeared annoyed by Muhammad Shafee’s allegations, refused to answer his question and accused him of not knowing anything about the case. But Muhammed Shafee said reports on the case were widely publicised through the Internet.

The proceeding also touched on Pornthip’s theory given during the inquest by the Coroner’s Court, which according to Muhammad Shafee had tarnished the image of an organisation (MACC).

To that, Pornthip replied: “I can’t answer that.”

Pornthip said she was only giving her opinion but admitted that she had said (during the inquest) that there was a sign of penetration of the deceased’s anus to obtain permission for the second autopsy to he conducted.

She said during the second autopsy, it was found that the injury was caused by a broken bone that re-entered the body.

Pornthip also said that she found Teoh’s death to be caused by a fall and not strangulation, and the injuries on his chest were due to the impact of the fall.

She further said that the injuries sustained by Teoh were consistent with injuries from a fall from a height of 30 metres and agreed that the first autopsy done within 24 hours after death was better than the second autopsy, conducted four months later.

Pornthip who frequently answered that her opinions were based on her reading of books and her experience, however, disagreed with Muhammad Shafee’s contention that her views on Teoh’s death were limited and depended on the limited cases she handled.

She said she handled various cases in Thailand and what she had stated in court were her own opinions and not under the directive of any quarters.

After Pornthip gave her testimony, Commission of Inquiry chairman, Federal Court judge Tan Sri James Foong Cheng Yuen said private investigator Michael Leslie Squires had completed his investigations into the computers and phones used by six MACC officers. No SMSes or calls were found to have been made through these phones in relation to the case and no emails either sent through their computers on the case.

The inquiry panel also comprises former Federal Court judge Datuk Abdul Kadir Sulaiman, former Appeals Court judge Datuk T.S.Nathan, Penang Hospital forensic pathologist Datuk Dr Bhupinder Singh and forensic psychiatric consultant Prof Dr Mohamed Hatta Shaharom.

Teoh, 30, was found dead on July 16, 2009 on the 5th foor corridor of Plaza Masalam, Shah Alam, after giving his statement to the Selangor MACC, located on the 14th floor of the same building.

The proceeding continues on Monday.

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