LIVE: Day 8 of Suhakam inquiry into missing pastors, activist

15th Nov 2017

Fadzil is heading the task force set up to look for Koh, who was abducted on February 13.

Yesterday, the panel heard statements from former Petaling Jaya councillor Peter Chong, Selangor Islamic Religious Department (Jais) officer Zaaba Zakaria and ASP Supari Muhammad.

Chong, who was the ninth witness, had told the panel about his alleged abduction in Thailand.

He told the inquiry how he was imprisoned in Thailand by three men he believed to be Malays, when he went to seek answers on Koh disappearance on April 6.

Instead of getting any information, the persons who detained him demanded that he ceased organising candlelight vigils for Koh and three others who were missing.

Koh family lawyer Steven Thiru had asked Supari, the investigating officer in the Koh case, why the police’s questions to Koh’s wife, Susanna Liew, were focused on Koh’s alleged proselytisation.

Supari disagreed that the most of the questions were on the subject and said the police had also asked other questions.

“We asked her about bank accounts, debts, activities and the information spread by Jais about his activities,” he had said.

Suhakam commissioner Mah Weng Kwai chairs the panel made up of Aishah Bidin and Dr Nik Salida Suhaila Nik Saleha, both also Suhakam commissioners.

The Suhakam inquiry is to determine if Koh’s disappearance and that of the other three Malaysians – 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:

4.40pm: Commissioner Mah said police observers had explained that the word “mengelirukan” (confusing) was not meant as “misleading” but as “can be confusing”.

“It has been accepted and it puts an end to the issue of ‘misleading’.”

Koh family lawyers then said the confusion lies in the minds of the police.

The inquiry ends and will resume tomorrow.

4.20pm: Koh family lawyers asked the panel to request that police observers withdraw the allegations they made.

The lawyers said they don’t want any allegations that they have misled the panel, which could arise again later when presenting evidence.

“Withdraw it and reserve your (police) rights to re-submit objections at the end of the inquiry.”

The panel then told the police observers and lawyers to discuss the matter in chambers.

4.10pm: Commissioner Mah said the picture and the notes that were taken during the witness statement on November 3 will not be expunged.

“We will not make a decision to dismiss the allegation now. We will make a decision after the inquiry ends, after looking at all the evidence.”

3.35pm: Mah asked police observers if they would apologise to Koh family lawyers for alleging that they used pictures with cut and paste work.

“Do you want to apologise so that we can close this matter, or do we leave it to the lawyers to do what they want?”

Police observers then apologised to the lawyers and panel members regarding the allegation.

The inquiry takes a 10-minute break.

3.10pm: Commissioner Mah told the police officers that there were two pictures shown on the website and there were no cut and paste work.

Mah said that he had spoken to Koh family lawyers and police observers on the issue.

“The website shows that there are two pictures and there are no cut and paste work.

“The police was explained this and they have withdrawn their complaints.

“However, they said the lawyers should have produced both pictures.”

Lawyers said that they were saddened by accusations by the police and that they wanted to charge them.

“There was no cut paste and we have discretion on how we want to conduct the case by showing only one picture.

“We are entitled to take this further and make a report on the police observers’ conduct.

“(But) We won’t go that far and will look for an appropriate apology at some other time.”

2.45pm: Koh family lawyers objected to the police observers and asked them to view the gallery of pictures on the website where they got the pictures from.

The lawyers said there were two photos on the website.

“Anyone that goes to website can identify that there are two pictures.

“The purpose was to ask the investigating officer whether police conduct operations using uniforms that don’t have insignia.

“Where is the deception in this?”

2.25pm: The inquiry resumes today with police observers objecting to a picture that was submitted by Pastor Raymond Koh’s family’s lawyers on November 3 to the panel.

Police observers say the lawyers are trying to confuse the panel by showing a picture that was a “cut and paste” work.

“We want the photo to be struck out, and we want the witness testimony voided.”

The police observers are asking the panel to strike out a picture of two masked policemen arresting a suspect without any insignia on their attire.

Police have said they want a retraction, or they will take action under Section 192 of the Penal Code. – November 15, 2017.


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