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Thursday, November 23, 2017

Cops' lack of follow-up action on items linked to pastor Koh found in suspect's home

SUHAKAM INQUIRY | Nothing seems to have come out of the discovery of four items related to missing pastor Raymond Koh in the home of a suspect who police shot dead in June, according to Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) commissioner Mah Weng Kwai.

Mah told the Suhakam public inquiry today that the apparent lack of subsequent action on the discovery was a question mark that continued to linger over the pastor’s disappearance.

Testifying before the inquiry, Selangor Criminal Investigation Department chief Fadzil Ahmat said he has no explanation on why the items – pictures of Koh, his car, his house as well as his vehicle registration number – were found in the suspect’s house.

"Police raided the house and found those items, and they had shot the suspect. Based on investigations conducted on the suspect, there was a link between him and four others (who were later) arrested.

"This is why the four individuals were investigated… Because the items were found at the suspect's home, they (the police) initially believed there was a link,"  Fadzil (photo) said.

However, it was later established that the individuals had no link to Koh's abduction and were released on police bail.

Fadzil also confirmed that the deceased suspect's wife was also brought in for questioning, albeit in Kedah, unlike the other four suspects who were questioned in Petaling Jaya.

"We definitely asked her questions. The woman was remanded for a week," he said.

However, the Selangor CID chief said nothing from the investigation was of help to the police.

Asked how the items ended up in the suspect’s house, Fadzil said the police wanted to know the answer to the question as well.

"But so far there has been no answer," he said.

Fadzil also stressed that police investigations did uncover the fact that three of the suspects were not members of any extremist group.

However, the suspect who was shot dead in Kedah was a key player in a drug and firearm smuggling syndicate at the Malaysian border, he added.

Police had found drugs, pipe bombs, ammunition, as well as pictures of a house and car believed to be owned by the missing pastor.

“We also found the vehicle registration number ST 5515 D and several pictures of a Chinese man… We believe the gang is linked to Koh’s abduction,” former inspector-general of police Khalid Abu Bakar had said in June.

Koh was abducted in Petaling Jaya on Feb 13. A video recording of the incident showed him being taken away by masked men, in broad daylight.

The Suhakam hearing will resume on Dec 4.

The inquiry is seeking to establish whether the disappearances of Koh, Amri Che Mat, Joshua Hilmy and his wife Ruth Hilmy are tantamount to enforced disappearances as defined under the International Convention for Protection of all Persons from Enforced Disappearances (ICPPED).

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