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Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Bar Council: Continued failure of police to nab abductors eroded public confidence in criminal justice system

PETALING JAYA - The Malaysian Bar Council is troubled by the "little headway" that police have made in locating missing Pastor Raymond Koh and apprehending his abductors.

"The Malaysian Bar is troubled by the continued failure and inability of the police to locate and secure the safe release of Pastor Raymond Koh Keng Joo," said Malaysian Bar president Steven Thiru in a statement Tuesday.

Koh was abducted from his car by a group of men in Jalan SS4B/10, here, on Feb 13.

CCTV footage believed to be of the incident has surfaced, showing at least 15 men and three black SUVs were involved in the abduction.

The footage shows what appears to be a well-planned and professionally executed operation that happened in just under a minute.

"Although a month has passed since the abduction, the police appear to have made little headway in locating the missing pastor and/or apprehending his abductors," said Thiru.

"This is extremely disappointing, as the vicious and outrageous act happened in broad daylight and was caught on video by several closed-circuit television cameras," he said.

Thiru said the manner in which the abduction was carried out had fueled "uneasy speculation" about the identity of the abductors, the masterminds behind it and their motives.

"Some concerns have been raised as to whether the act was perpetrated against Pastor Raymond Koh due to the social work he is known to be actively engaged in," he said.

"The Malaysian Bar urges the police to act more efficaciously, as the lack of progress so far has manifestly eroded public confidence in our criminal justice system," said Thiru.

The Malaysian Bar also urged federal and state authorities and their agencies to cooperate fully with the police task force investigating the case.

"It is in the public interest that the investigations be conducted thoroughly, transparently and impartially, with a sense of urgency," said Thiru.

"The Malaysian Bar is concerned about the well-being of Pastor Raymond Koh.

"We extend our support and solidarity to his family in this challenging time," he said.

A 30-year-old man was arrested on March 9, but police have said he is not involved in the case.

However, the man is expected to be charged Wednesday under Section 385 of the Penal Code for attempting to extort the victim’s family.

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