Legally Blonde

Aaron Razak's Table
Aaron Razak’s Table (Photo credit: sarrazak6881)

About 14 months ago, I posted a three part post entitled “Dark Eclipse of the Paper Moon“.  The first part entitled “Paper Moon” discussed the conspiracy theory that the Apollo moon landings were faked.  The second, “Eclipse”, was about the partial eclipse of the sun in Malaysia that was washed out by heavy rain.  And finally the third part, “The Dark”, was about the sad case of Teoh Beng Hock.  Now, more than a year later, some strange and noteworthy developments have occurred in the investigation into Teoh’s death.

On the 15th of July 2009, the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission raided the offices of Members of the State Assembly in Selangor who happen to belong to opposition parties to the Federal Government to investigate alledged misuse of constituency funds. Somehow, the political secretary to one of the State Assemblymen, Teoh Beng Hock, was asked to accompany the officers back to their office to help in their investigations.

It was important to note that Teoh was said to have gone voluntarily and he was a witness and not a suspect. Yet the next day, the 30 year old was found dead on the 5th Floor of the Commissions offices, apparently having plummeted to his death from the 14th Floor. Although, it is known that he was still being interrogated even at 3 am., MACC officers claim to have lost touch with his whereabouts after that.

To ward off suggestions that MACC were responsible as he was under their responsibility or authority at the time, a proposed explanation for the tragedy  is that Teoh, (who was due to marry his pregnant girlfriend on the very next day) was depressed and committed suicide.

An inquest is on-going in which forensic pathologists argue about whether Teoh’s injuries were entirely from his fall or if he was assaulted first.  The MACC lawyer is advocating that it was a suicide whereas famed forensic pathologist from Thailand, Dr. Pornthip Rojanasunand, has testified that there were injuries on Teoh which were inconsistent with suicide and that there was evidence that he was already unconscious when he fell to his death.

Dr. Pornthip – Thailand’s foremost forensic specialist.

This set the stage for some of the most bizarre legal questioning ever from the MACC lawyer, Mr. Abdul Razak Musa.  Here are some highlights;

Highlight 1: Razak first attacked Pornthip on her qualifications, saying that the MACC’s expert witness, Peter Vanezis, was “far more qualified” than her…as he had “graduated from Bristol University”.  He added that Mahidol University, where she had graduated from, was not recognised in Malaysia.

Dr. Pornthip replied that Mahidol University is one of the top 5 Universities in Asia. (in fact, according to this site, Mahidol University is in the list of top 50 Universities in Asia where as no Malaysian University made the list).

Highlight 2. When Dr. Pornthip testified that in her opinion that Teoh did not commit suicide, Razak suggested that Teoh was depressed and had strangled himself (and then apparently thrown himself out the window).  When challenged by another lawyer that no one could strangle themselves, Razak obligingly throttled himself to demonstrate how it could be done.

Highlight 3: Razak said “From Level 14 – 99 feet above ground – he was unconscious, so his body would be heavier.”  (Huh??  We are lighter when we are conscious and we put on weight when we are unconscious? What the…?).  Dr. Pornthip replied that there would be no difference in weight.

Highlight 4: In response to Dr. Pornthip’s testimony that the body was found further from the building than was typical of a suicide, Razak asked if Dr. Pornthip had any experience jumping off buildings.

Highlight 5: Razak wanted to know how Dr. Pornthip could claim that Teoh was dead when he fell from the 14th floor but was alive when he hit the landing on the 5th floor.  (Wow, it’s a miracle!)

Dr. Pornthip clarified that she never said that Teoh was dead at the beginning of his fall.  Razak seemed confused and so the coroner stepped in to explain that the issue was whether Teoh was conscious or unconscious when he fell and not whether he was alive or dead.

Highlight 6: Exasperated, Dr Pornthip responded to Razak, “I am questioning whether you are a lawyer.”  To which Razak is said to have replied, “Although I am younger than you, I have many years experience as a lawyer.”

If you want more laughs, here are some additional lawyer quotes but at the end, shed a tear for Teoh and justice.

  • Lawyer: “Now, Mrs. Johnson, how was your first marriage terminated?”
  • Witness: “By death.”
  • Lawyer: “And by whose death was it terminated?”
  • Lawyer: “Doctor, before you performed the autopsy, did you check for a pulse?”
  • Witness: “No.”
  • Lawyer: “Did you check for blood pressure?”
  • Witness: “No.”
  • Lawyer: “Did you check for breathing?”
  • Witness: “No.”
  • Lawyer: “So, then it is possible that the patient was alive when you began the autopsy?”
  • Witness: “No.”
  • Lawyer: “How can you be so sure, Doctor?”
  • Witness: “Because his brain was sitting on my desk in a jar.”
  • Lawyer: “But could the patient have still been alive nevertheless?”
  • Witness: “Yes, it is possible that he could have been alive and practicing law somewhere.”
  • Lawyer: “What happened then?”
  • Witness: “He told me, he says, ‘I have to kill you because you can identify me.'”
  • Lawyer: “Did he kill you?”
  • Witness: “No.”
  • Lawyer: “How long have you been a French Canadian?”
  • Lawyer: “Do you know how far pregnant you are now?”
  • Witness: “I’ll be three months on November 8.”
  • Lawyer: “Apparently, then, the date of conception was August 8?”
  • Witness: “Yes.”
  • Lawyer: “What were you doing at that time?”
  • Lawyer: “And what did he do then?”
  • Witness: “He came home, and next morning he was dead.”
  • Lawyer: “So when he woke up the next morning he was dead?”

14 thoughts on “Legally Blonde”

  1. Hehe … indeed, it seems that some of these lawyers have left their brains in a jar somewhere … what baffles me, as in the case of Mr. Abdul Razak Musa, they seem to be unaware of how ridiculous they are – and they get away with it, they become rich men …

  2. Honestly…maybe all those lawyers should go to work for insurance companies…just an idea. 😉

  3. That lawyer MUST be a blonde, don’t you think?

    I’m a nutter too 🙂 Hope you are having a great day – I enjoyed reading some of your posts as I’ve been away for while and have fallen far behind. It is SO hot here today!

  4. If the state has sanctioned a murder of a citizen then it time for the government to be replaced but then not yet being held under a repressive government it is all something to think about for the future.

  5. Oh, how funny – & sad!

    Some people let their emotions go & their brains just stop working.

    BTW, i just realized that my profile avatar is a squirrel (i have several different ones). 🙂

    Have a lovely day Mr. Squirrel (or is it Mr. Grey?)

  6. LOL. Mr. Abdul Razak Musa sounds like quite the tool! It’s amazing that he even graduated from law school! (Then again, based on those quotes, it sounds like some schools grade on a sliding scale. ;))

  7. OneStonedCrow,
    Perhaps lawyers’ brains exist in jars so that mad scientists can study the source of such ridiculousness.

    Sweet Cheeks,
    I wonder if lawyers and insurance people understand each other.

  8. tsduff,
    It’s good to see you posting regularly again. Us nutters have to stick together.

    On the surface, Malaysia is bright and shiny but things look different under the hood.

    I answer to almost any name as long as food is involved.

  9. Pauline,
    One can only deduce he came from a University much further below the ranking of Mahidol University.

    I do think he was in panic, trying to make the best of a difficult case …from his perspective.

  10. Real life law and order is never as pretty, dramatic or intelligent than TV/movie law and order…which is already not all that intelligent.

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