LIVE: Day 11 of Suhakam inquiry into missing pastors, activist

23rd Nov 2017

Last week, the inquiry heard that the police had no clue if Koh, who is missing since February, was dead or alive.

Assistant Superintendant Supari Muhammad, who took the stand on the ninth day, said Koh’s abduction was likely the work of extremists.

Suhakam commissioner Mah Weng Kwai had asked Supari for his opinion on Koh’s case based on what the police knew so far.

Mah also asked Supari if the police had any idea if Koh was still alive.

Supari replied, “No idea.”

He also told the inquiry that police did not know if Koh was still in the country.

The inquiry also heard the statements from Selangor Islamic Religious Department (Jais) officer Zaharia Zaaba.

Zaharia was in charge of the Jais team that raided the Damansara Utama Methodist Church in 2011, where Harapan Komuniti, which Koh led, was hosting a Thanksgiving dinner.

During the raid, Jais summoned 12 individuals to attend counselling sessions because they were at the dinner.

Zaharia had told the inquiry that the offence committed that led to Jais raiding DUMC, came under Section 10 of the Shariah Criminal Enactment (Selangor) 1995, for insulting or bringing disrepute to Islam.

Mah chairs the panel, which is also made up of Suhakam commissioners Aishah Bidin and Nik Salida Suhaila Nik Saleha.

The inquiry is seeking to determine if the disappearance of Koh and three others – Pastor Joshua Hilmy, his wife Ruth, and social activist Amri Che Mat – are cases of enforced disappearance, a term for abductions carried out with the authorisation or support of the state or a political organisation.

The Malaysian Insight brings you live updates from today’s hearing. – November 23, 2017.

3.15pm: The inquiry ends and will resume on December 4.

3.10pm: Commissioner Mah asks Fadzil if the wife of the suspect that was shot dead was brought to Kuala Lumpur for questioning, to which he replies no.

Mah then asked Fadzil isn’t it part of his investigations to question the wife in relation to Koh’s case.

Fadzil said she was questioned by Kedah police.

Mah asked if she was questioned by the task force, to which Fadzil replied he would have to check.

Fadzil said she was remanded for a week but the police did not get anything.

Mah said the biggest question that has yet to he answered is how the four items (number plate, pictures of Koh, his car and house) ended up in the home of the suspect that was shot dead.

“How did the items end up in the house? Do you all know?”

Fadzil said that so far there are no leads.

2.55pm: Koh’s family lawyers ask Fadzil if he knew that there was no connection between the four suspects and Koh’s case before Khalid gave a press conference.

Fadzil said he does not remember the date.

“After we got the suspects we remanded them. We conducted our investigations and found that there is no connection to Koh.”

Lawyers then asked Fadzil the suspects’ race and gender.

Fadzil said two Malay men, an Indian man and Thai woman the wife of the suspect that was shot dead.

Lawyers said that when they questioned ASP Supari he told them that he only took three Malay men and an Indian man but did not take the wife.

Fadzil said that he can’t remember everything.

“If Supari said it’s three Malay men and one Indian man, then we follow his statement as he is the investigating officer of the case. He will know everything.”

Lawyers then asked if the wife was also arrested, to which Fadzil replied she wasn’t taken.

2.30pm: Koh’s family lawyers ask Fadzil if the four suspects whom were caught in the operation up north were extremists.

Fadzil said they have no proof to say that they are extremists.

Lawyers asked if Fadzil can confirm if the four suspects were connected to Koh’s case.

Fadzil said investigations revealed no evidence that indicate so.

1pm: The inquiry takes a one-hour break for lunch.

12.50pm: Koh’s family lawyers ask Fadzil if he knew that Kedah police would have to include the items seized after a shootout up north in their police search list.

Lawyers said the items were Koh’s car number plate, pictures of Koh, his house and car and asked Fadzil if he had seen the search list.

Fadzil said he had not seen the search list as the operation was conducted up north.

Lawyers then asked Fadzil if the items seized would be in the search list, to which he replied yes.

Mah then asked Fadzil if members of his task force went to Kedah and Perak to collect the evidence.

Fadzil only said the items were handed to ASP Supari.

12.25pm: Koh’s family lawyers ask Fadzil if any member of the task force brief former inspector-general of police Khalid Abu Bakar before he gave any press conferences.

Fadzil said that as far as he knows, he was the only one who would brief Khalid.

“I will update him (Khalid). But when he wants to give press conferences I don’t know.”

Lawyers then asked Fadzil if the task force discussed about a suspect who was caught up north, which was mentioned by Khalid in a press conference.

Fadzil said all suspects in Koh’s case was discussed with the task force.

12.05pm: Koh’s family lawyers ask Fadzil if it is possible that the pastor’s abduction was carried out by a unit of the police that he was not informed of.

Fadzil says, “definently no”.

Lawyers ask Fadzil if it was possible that the abduction was carried out by Special Branch and not CID.

“Could the abduction be linked to a rogue group in the police.”

Fadzil says, “no, not likely”.

11.35am: Inquiry takes a 15-minute break.

11.25am: Koh’s family lawyers ask Fadzil if he can confirm that investigations into the pastor’s abduction was conducted with Bukit Aman’s Deputy Commissioner Huzir.

Fadzil says that he discussed several things with Huzir.

Lawyers ask Fadzil if Bukit Aman was overseeing the investigations, to which he replied, “yes”.

Lawyers ask Fadzil if Bukit Aman gave directions on how to go about Koh’s case.

Fadzil says sometimes there are directions from Huzir.

11.05am: Koh’s family lawyers ask Fadzil if there are officers that don’t have insignia on their outfits.

Fadzil says in any police operation the police must have insignia on their outfits.

“The police must have a badge and they must identify themselves. If they don’t identify themselves then they are not police.

“Some wear and some don’t wear. I don’t know.”

10.45am: Koh’s family lawyers ask Fadzil, after seeing the video of Koh’s abduction, if it could be a police operation.

Fadzil says police operations are very organised and they have a similar modus operandi to how Koh was abducted.

“Yes, we have a similar MO like that. It looks the same from a tactical point of view. It’s a similar pattern of an organised operation.

“I didn’t say it was a police operation but police have conducted operations in this way. They (abductors) had to be well trained,” he said.

10.20am: Koh’s family lawyers ask Fadzil if he has obtained CCTV recordings from the Malaysian Highway Authority (MHA), and if he was aware that the agency had a central monitoring system of CCTVs that all concessionaires are required to have.

Fadzil says police have the CCTV recordings from NKVE, LDP and Sprint.

Lawyers then ask Fadzil if the task force had asked MHA for the recordings in other parts of Malaysia as the other three missing persons could be linked to Koh’s disappearance.

“You said that the four missing persons could be linked. And they went missing in different parts of Malaysia. Don’t you think it’s relevant to see where they were going?”

Fadzil says they only asked for CCTV recordings that are relevant to the case and they did not ask from MHA for more recordings.

10am: Commissioner Mah asks Koh family lawyer why he keeps questioning Fadzil on the mobile phone signal and the exit routes that the abductors could have taken.

Lawyer says the line of questioning is to show that the investigation task force under Fadzil is not telling the inquiry everything they know.

“They have not tendered any evidence. All the information we are getting are from the observers. They are not telling us everything.”

Fadzil said police can’t reveal everything.

“We know Koh’s last signal was at 2pm and we checked and didn’t get anything. We can’t reveal what we are doing from A to Z,” he said.

9.40am: Koh’s family lawyers ask Fadzil about the signal from the pastor’s mobile phone, which was last detected in Taman Mayang.

They ask Fadzil if he knows where the cell tower is located in Taman Mayang, to which he replied, “no”.

Lawyers then ask Fadzil if he knows that it takes more than one cell tower to pick up a signal.

Fadzil said that he doesn’t know the technical details how a cell tower works.

Lawyers then ask Fadzil if the signal was transmitted in Taman Mayang, was it probable that the abductors passed through the area.

“Maybe the abductors had the phone or there was someone else holding the phone. But I agree, the last signal came from Taman Mayang,” Fadzil said.

9.20am: The inquiry resumes with Selangor Criminal Investigation Department chief Senior Assistant Commissioner Fadzil Ahmat taking the stand.


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