After almost six years of tussle, the government today finally agreed to pay a compensation of RM600,000 to the family of the late Teoh Beng Hock for negligence.
Teoh, who was brought in as a witness by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) on July 15, 2009 was found dead the following day after falling from the 14th floor of the Selangor MACC headquarters in Shah Alam.
Kulai MP Teo Nie Ching, who has been assisting Teoh’s family, told Malaysiakini the settlement was formalised and agreed upon by both parties at the Kuala Lumpur High Court today.
On Sept 5 last year, a three-member Court of Appeal panel had reversed the High Court’s open verdict decision, ruling that Teoh’s death was “accelerated by unlawful acts by MACC officers”.
In today’s settlement, the MACC also said it will to police investigations claims of assault and battery against Teoh.
The settlement terms, in part, read: “On action against the ‘assault and battery’, the plaintiffs will rely on the Court of Appeal decision for the matter to be further investigated by police and for anyone responsible for Teoh’s death to be charged immediately.”
Teo, who is a DAP lawmaker, hailed the settlement as victory for Teoh’s family adding it was finally an admission by the MACC of negligence on its part after consistently refusing to take responsibility for the matter.
Up to police now
DAP’s Puchong MP Gobind Singh Deo, the pro bono lead counsel for the family, said they accepted MACC’s admission of negligence.
“The family said in court today that they accept the payment to the extent of the claim for negligence and that they stand by the decision of the Court of Appeal recently.
“They also demanded police conduct further investigations into the matter and charge those persons responsible for his death,” he said in a statement.
He said Teoh’s family had sued the MACC and 10 of its officers as well as the government for negligence and assault while Teoh was in their custody which resulted in his subsequent death.
“We will continue to prod the police for action on the matter. We have done all we possibly can for the matter legally.
“It is now for the police to do the needful and we will not stop pushing for justice for Teoh Beng Hock,” said Gobind (photo).
A Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) into Teoh’s death in 2011 had ticked off the MACC officers for their harsh treatment of Teoh as he was only a witness.
The MACC was investigating Teoh’s boss – Sri Kembangan state assemblyperson Ean Yong Hian Wah – over RM2,400 worth of flags supplied and purchased for Merdeka Day celebrations. He was later cleared of any wrongdoing.
Teoh, who fell from the 14th floor window of the Selangor MACC headquarters, was found dead on fifth floor landing of Plaza Masalam. – Malaysiakini