Search This Blog

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Extremist links may be behind Pastor Koh’s disappearance, inquiry told

KUALA LUMPUR - Pastor Raymond Koh’s mysterious disappearance since February may be linked to extremist elements, a police officer investigating his case said today.

Assistant Superintendent Supari Mohammad who was testifying for the fourth day at a public inquiry into the disappearances of four social activists, reportedly said: “It is more towards extremist activities”.

He was responding to a question from the inquiry panel chaired by Datuk Mah Weng Kwai from the Malaysian Human Rights Commission (Suhakam) about the three police hypotheses for Koh’s disappearance: personal issues, extremist links or kidnap-for-ransom, theSun Daily reported on its website.

The policeman also told the three-man panel today that he had “no idea” if Koh is still in the country or if he is even alive now, when asked by lawyer Steven Thiru who is representing the family of the missing pastor.

To another question from Mah, the policeman said information provided by another activist Peter Chong who had gone to look for Koh in Thailand in April had not been helpful.

“It did not help me at all. There was no information provided that I could use to further my investigations,” Supari reportedly said.

Chong had testified at the inquiry two days ago about his personal search for Koh that led him to Thailand where he was detained a week by men who claimed to be from a Muslim youth organisation trying to stop purported Christian proselytisation moves in Malaysia.

The Suhakam panel is looking to establish if the disappearances of Koh, Pastor Joshua Hilmy and his wife Ruth, and another social activist Amri Che Mat are tantamount to enforced disappearances as defined under International Convention for Protection of all Persons from Enforced Disappearances, news portal Malaysiakini reported.

Is Pastor Koh in police custody?

KUALA LUMPUR: The police today did not dismiss the possibility that Pastor Raymond Koh could currently be in their custody.

ASP Supari Muhammad, who is the investigating officer in charge of the Pastor Raymond Koh abduction case, said he was unsure if the missing Christian preacher was currently in police custody.

Koh’s family lawyer Steven Thiru asked Supari, “since you have said you are unsure about the role of other police departments in the case, can you tell me with any degree of certainty, if Pastor Koh is currently held in police custody?

Supari said he was unsure.

“I am not sure but as far as I know, no. I am not sure,” he said on day nine of the public inquiry by the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) into Koh’s disappearance.

Suhakam commissioner and former Court of Appeal judge Mah Weng Kwai asked Supari if he found out through his investigations as the IO of the case, if Koh had left the country or was still alive.
“I have no idea,” Supari said.

Mah then referred him to a comment attributed to former inspector-general of police Khalid Abu Bakar on three possible explanations for Koh’s abduction.

“The former IGP had listed three possibilities, ransom, extremists or personal reasons. Which of these three do you think is more likely?” Mah asked.

Supari said that Koh’s abduction was likely to be a result of extremist activities.

Though Supari was released as a witness at the inquiry following four days of testimony, he could still be called back if required.

The public inquiry is chaired by Mah, and includes Suhakam commissioners Prof Aishah Bidin and Dr Nik Salida Suhaila Nik Salleh.

The inquiry will consider, among other things, whether the cases of Koh, activist Amri Che Mat, and Pastor Joshua Hilmy and wife Ruth, were cases of enforced or involuntary disappearance, as defined under the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance.
Koh, 63, was abducted from his car by a group of more than 10 men in a convoy of vehicles on Feb 13.
CCTV footage showed at least three black SUVs were involved in the abduction. Many speculated that his abduction might have been connected to his alleged attempts to spread Christianity, although his family has dismissed such claims.

Amri, 44, who co-founded charity organisation Perlis Hope, has been missing since Nov 24 last year.
His wife, Norhayati Ariffin, said witnesses saw five vehicles blocking the path of Amri’s car before he was whisked away, just 550 metres from their home in Bukit Chabang, Perlis.

Joshua and his wife, Ruth, meanwhile, were last seen on Nov 30 last year. A police report was lodged in Klang but the case was referred to the Petaling Jaya police as the complainant said the missing persons lived in Kampung Tunku.

No comments:

Post a Comment