The inquiry is being held under Section 12(1) of the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia Act in connection with the disappearance of Koh, social activist Amri Che Mat, as well as Pastor Joshua Hilmi and his wife Ruth Sitepu.
The panel of inquiry consist of commissioners Datuk Mah Weng Kwai as chairman, Prof Datuk Dr Aishah Bidin, and Dr Nik Salida Suhaila Nik Saleh.
3 November 2017
November 3, 2017
Pastor Koh inquiry panel visits abduction site
PETALING JAYA: Members of the public inquiry panel on missing pastor Raymond Koh today visited the site in Kelana Jaya where he was allegedly abducted, to ascertain the angles at which potential witnesses could have seen the incident that took place on Feb 13.
They were accompanied by an entourage which included investigating officer ASP Supari Muhammad, lawyers for Koh’s family, police and other observers, as well as media representatives who surveyed the location at Jalan SS4B/10.
The visiting panel included its chairman Mah Weng Kwai, who is Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) commissioner and a former Court of Appeals judge, and fellow commissioners Aishah Bidin and Nik Salida.
The 20-minute visit began with a discussion with Koh’s family members about which houses they had approached in the vicinity of the alleged abduction, to get CCTV footage.
Mah later questioned Supari about where the vehicles involved in the alleged abduction had stopped on the road and where the broken glass believed to be from the side-window of the victim’s car had fallen.
The panel also observed the angles and spots from which any witnesses would have seen what had happened.
They walked over to look at houses on both sides of the road and see the viewpoints from which the CCTV shots were captured.
The group left shortly after that, concluding the fifth day of the inquiry which is scheduled to resume on Nov 13.
2 November 2017
Four suspects in Pastor Koh’s abduction released, Suhakam told
SUHAKAM INQUIRY | The Human Rights Commission of Malaysia’s (Suhakam) was told in a public hearing today that four suspects investigated in connection with the abduction of Pastor Raymond Koh have been released on police bail.
Senior investigating officer Supari Muhammad told the panel, headed by Suhakam commissioner Mah Weng Kwai that there was no evidence to charge them with Koh’s abduction.
“They were remanded for 13 days with two applications for remand.
“We did our interrogation, intelligence, and the papers have been submitted to the Attorney-General’s Chambers (AGC),” Supari said.
“There were no leads or evidence found, linking them to Pastor Koh’s abduction,” he added.
The four were subsequently released on the orders of Selangor CID chief Fadzil Ahmat after the AGC classified the case as no further action (NFA)
Read more at https://www.malaysiakini.com/news/400545#vV6Q3Sy5wmR7tqcB.99
November 2, 2017
Cop says he questioned pastor’s wife for 5 hours on ‘proselytisation’
KUALA LUMPUR: A policeman, who was initially assigned to investigate Pastor Raymond Koh’s disappearance, told an inquiry that he quizzed Koh’s wife Susanna Liew on his alleged proselytisation due to his religious work.
Inspector Ali Asra Abu Bakar said that he had interviewed Liew on Feb 13, the day Koh was abducted, for over five hours, finishing in the early hours of the next day.
He admitted that his line of questioning was focused on the issue of proselytisation.
“I was told by my superiors to ask the questions related to Christianisation as the victim is a pastor,” he told the Human Rights Commission Malaysia (Suhakam) public inquiry today on the disappearance of Koh and three others.
When asked by lawyer Lim Heng Seng, representing the Malaysian Bar as an observer, if he planned and compiled all the proselytisation-related questions for the five-hour session, Ali said he could not provide an answer to that.
“This is not a teh tarik session. You spent about five hours with her asking about claims on alleged proselytisation but now you say you cannot tell us about the questions you asked,” he said.
Lim continued to press the officer on how long he intended to interview Liew for the day if she had not complained of tiredness. Ali said he too wanted to call it a day.
“I was also tired on that night,” he said.
He also denied that police had opened a “file” on Koh.
Pastor Koh’s family refused to cooperate with me, IO tells inquiry
Investigating officer tells Suhakam inquiry pastor’s wife screamed at him for asking questions on Koh’s alleged proselytisation.
KUALA LUMPUR: The investigating officer in missing Pastor Raymond Koh’s case told an inquiry on missing persons today that the pastor’s family members refused to cooperate with him in the investigations.
ASP Supari Mohammad, attached to the Petaling Jaya police district, told the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) inquiry that he hoped that Koh’s family could give him some lead in the case.
“As an IO (investigating officer), I was not satisfied because I did not get answers.
“His family members refused to answer my questions. Puan Susanna Liew (Koh’s wife) even shouted at me for asking questions on proselytisation repeatedly,” he said, adding he viewed this stumbling block as part of his job.
Supari was responding to a question by Suhakam commissioner Dr Nik Salida Suhaila Nik Salleh on why he had said Koh’s family had refused to cooperate.
He added the questions related to alleged conversion into Christianity were asked as there were 78 police reports lodged against Koh in 2011 for claims he proselytised Muslims.
Supari also said he had asked Koh’s children on their father’s whereabouts four days before the incident but they could not provide him an answer.
“They are staying under the same roof but they did not know their father’s whereabouts.”
Suhakam panel, inspector argue over diary
A POLICE inspector’s reluctance to hand over his investigation diary (ID) on the abduction of Pastor Raymond Koh agitated the inquiry panel probing into the case today.
National Human Rights Commission (Suhakam) commissioner Mah Weng Kwai said if police were going to use the excuse that such material was classified every time the panel asked for evidence, the inquiry “might as well pack up and leave”.
Mah said such evidence was to be handed over to the panel according to Section 14 of the Suhakam Act.
When Man asked Ali if he kept a diary of the events of February 13 when Koh was abducted, the inspector said “Yes”.
But when Mah asked him to show panel the diary, Ali said the police would have to get approval from the Attorney-General’s Chambers (AGC).
Mah then said the panel was entitled to see such evidence under the act governing the commission.
“The commission is entitled to look at the documents to refresh the memory of the witness. If we don’t see the ID, it will render the commission useless,” he said.
Two other police officers attending the inquiry as observers then said the diary was classified as investigations were ongoing and could not be handed over to the panel. They asked for a postponement to the hearing to refer to the AGC.
This prompted Mah to retort sternly that if the panel was denied evidence each time it asked for it on the grounds that investigations were ongoing, “we might as well pack up and leave”.
“We should be allowed to look at the ID because we want to check the dates stated by Ali. It is to corroborate the statements he made.”
The police observers then stood up to object but Mah instructed the inquiry’s officers retrieve the diary from Ali, who then handed it over. – November 2, 2017.
30 October 2017
Pastor Koh inquiry: Ex-IGP refuses to answer many questions
Khalid Abu Bakar tells Suhakam inquiry he does not have the answers or that giving details will interfere with investigations.
KUALA LUMPUR: Former inspector-general of police Khalid Abu Bakar today either declined or was unable to answer certain questions regarding the abduction of Pastor Raymond Koh when asked during a public inquiry about the case.
Khalid seemed unable to recall specific facts on most questions posed and passed the buck to Selangor CID chief SAC Fadzil Ahmat instead.
Each time one of the family lawyers asked pertinent questions to help build the facts surrounding the case, Khalid either said he did not remember or did not know the answers to the questions posed.
When asked to elaborate about the suspects arrested in connection with the case, Khalid refused to answer the question, saying, “I reserve my right not to answer questions pertaining to the suspects as the case is still ongoing. The suspect might be arrested in the future so I cannot say anything.”
When inquiry chair Mah Weng Kwai asked Khalid who would know the answers to these questions, Khalid said, “The Selangor CID chief who is also the head of the task force set up to look into the disappearance of Koh.”
Khalid was being questioned on day three of the public inquiry by the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam), into the disappearance of Koh and three others.
When asked about a shootout in Perlis in which evidence regarding the abduction of Koh was allegedly found in a suspect’s house, Khalid clarified that the items were found by members of the Bukit Aman Serious Crime Department.
He however refused to divulge further details about the suspects when asked about their race or if they were police informers.
When asked how many times he was properly briefed about the case, Khalid replied, “Two”.
“I was only briefed twice about the case by Fadzil. The first was a 10-minute briefing a few weeks after the incident occurred.
“The second briefing was 10-15 minutes long, also by Fadzil,” he said at the inquiry.
When asked if he knew that Koh was questioned by police before his abduction, Khalid said he could not give the answer to that question.
Koh was reportedly questioned nine times by members of the Special Branch.
“I was not aware or informed about this. PDRM is divided into 10 departments. Each department has its own director and they will give instructions for their own departments.”
When asked about the police’s cooperation with their Thai counterparts on the Perlis case, Khalid said, “We are working closely with our Thai counterparts. I do not want to give any other information on what was revealed to us as investigations are ongoing.”
October 30, 2017
Police should have acted quicker in Koh abduction case, says ex-IGP
KUALA LUMPUR: Former inspector-general of police Khalid Abu Bakar has admitted that police were slow and should have acted quicker in investigating the disappearance of Pastor Raymond Koh.
Khalid made the admission when asked if the time taken by the police to record the first statement of the case from the first witness was too long and, therefore, not efficient.
“Yes (valuable time was lost),” he said.
When Khalid was asked if this was a lapse by the police, he said: “Yes I agree.”
Khalid was questioned on day three of the public inquiry into the disappearance of Koh and three others by the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam).
The inquiry will consider, among other things, whether the cases of Koh, Amri Che Mat, and Pastor Joshua Hilmy and his wife Ruth, were cases of enforced or involuntary disappearances as defined under the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance.
The public inquiry is chaired by Mah Weng Kwai, a retired Court of Appeal judge, and includes a panel consisting of Suhakam commissioners Prof Dr Aishah Bidin from Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia and Dr Nik Salida Suhaila Nik Salleh from Universiti Sains Islam Malaysia.
On March 3, it was reported that the police were looking at three theories related to the abduction of Koh, which Khalid described as personal issues, extremist link and a kidnap-for-ransom case.
On March 20, Khalid blamed reporters for giving too much publicity and speculation into the case when the police had no new leads.
On June 25, Khalid was reported to have linked the abduction to a human trafficking group in southern Thailand, and that police were working with the Thai police on the matter.
Koh’s abductors could have learnt moves from TV, says ex-IGP Khalid
THE men who abducted Pastor Raymond Koh in such a professional manner could have picked up their skills from watching TV, former inspector-general of police Khalid Abu Bakar told a Suhakam panel of inquiry today.
The retired cop was subpoenaed to appear in the hearing by the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) investigating the disappearance of the pastor and three other Malaysians.
Given a viewing of footage of the abduction, Khalid admitted that the operation appeared well-organised, but said he had seen better.
To a question from Bar Council lawyers on whether the masked abductors, who drove up in three black SUVs, looked like professionals, Khalid said they could have learnt the moves from “the movies or TV”.
Asked if he believed the abduction was a “special operation”, Khalid said “no”.
Khalid confirmed that he had told Raymond’s family not to speak to the media or attend candlelight vigils held for him, because he did not wish to have the investigation compromised.
Asked to respond to Raymond’s wife, Susanna Liew’s claims that she was disappointed in the police who seemed to be investigating her husband for proselytisation instead of looking for him, Khalid said police reports had been filed in Perlis against the pastor for proselytising.
“We were investigating Raymond from all angles. We had to look into his background and activities.
“We were also carrying on with the main investigation (into the abduction).”
Raymond’s family have repeatedly complained that they were not receiving information from the police on the status of the investigation into the pastor’s abduction, which took place on February 13.
They also said that during questioning, the police had appeared to be more interested in finding out if Raymond was guilty of proselytising.
20 October 2017
SUHAKAM HEARING | The Human Rights Commission (Suhakam) public hearing on the disappearances of several activists and social workers took a 15-minute break today after one of the witnesses broke into tears.
Susanna Liew, wife of the missing pastor Raymond Koh, was being fielded questions regarding her reaction after Koh received a death threat in 2011, and started sobbing thereafter.
“That morning I remember I cried when I called my friend, because I felt it was getting dangerous. I even thought of migrating to Australia but my husband loves this country. He wanted to stay in Malaysia.
“So, we left the house temporarily. We stayed in another place for two months. A friend of ours let us stay at his place,” she said between sobs.
The death threat was delivered to Koh’s and Liew’s home on Aug 23, 2011, and comprised a package containing two bullets and a strongly worded letter.
This followed a raid by Selangor Islamic Religious Department (Jais) on Koh’s charity Harapan Komuniti on Aug 3 the same year, over allegations that Koh was proselytising to Muslims.
October 20, 2017
Love for country stopped Pastor Koh from migrating, says wife
She added that she and Koh were frequently stopped at the immigration checkpoint when they headed to Singapore and other countries.
“Raymond was stopped nine times and I seven times from October 2011 to October 2012 at the Johor Bahru immigration checkpoint.
“On Dec 26, 2011, when I was coming back from Singapore at the JB checkpoint, they took away my passport and asked me to follow them to meet a Special Branch officer. I was scared and worried.
“The officer asked me why I went to Singapore many times and about a kindergarten I had sold five years prior to that. He asked me what activities I conducted and what I taught there.”
She said there was also one incident when she and her family returned from New Zealand in September 2011 and noticed a group of well-built men following them, one of whom was taking pictures of them.
When asked if Harapan Community had any intention to spread or preach Christianity, Liew said it was against the guidelines of the non-profit organisation.
“We warned all the staff and volunteers through our internship programme that there cannot be any preaching of any religion while they carried out their work and activities.
“This warning was given verbally. All activities there were inclusive and included all races and there was no intention to preach any religion.”
19 October 2017
Pastor Koh’s abduction ‘similar to police ops’
The abduction of Pastor Raymond Koh was similar to how a police operation is conducted, the Suhakam public inquiry into the disappearance of Koh and three others heard today.
The first witness at the inquiry, Roeshan Gomez, who was driving behind a silver Waja (earlier reports said Koh was driving a silver Proton Waja), said he saw the abduction.
“I was driving to the crematorium when I saw a silver (Proton) Waja in front of me. Then I saw five to six men in four SUVs. Then, I saw two people struggling in a car. One was trying to pull the other person out.
“My friend who was with me tried to shoot a video but we were blocked by an Indian man who stood in front of our car. We then reversed… and left the scene.”
Gomez, a 25-year-old doing his chambering at a law firm, said he then lodged a police report on the incident at the Kelana Jaya police station.
After he had described the scene to the investigating officer Inspector Ali Asra, the policeman allegedly told him that from the description given “could be similar to how a police operation is conducted”.
Gomez was then shown three closed-circuit television camera (CCTV) clips of the alleged abduction on February 13 and asked to confirm if they were the same SUVs and men that he and a friend saw during the incident.
Investigation Officer (IO) said Pastor Koh’s abduction was like a police ops, witness claims
A police personnel investigating the disappearance of Pastor Raymond Koh had remarked that the latter’s abduction was similar to a police operation, the Human Rights Commission (Suhakam) public hearing was told today.
Witness Roeshan Celestine Gomez said the investigating officer (IO) from the Kelana Jaya police station had made the remark when the witness’ police report on the incident was lodged.
“He said not to worry and that it looked very much like the modus operandi of a police operation,” Gomez said during the public hearing in Kuala Lumpur.
“(The IO) said it happened (during) broad daylight, it was very quick… He said the fact someone was taking a video, (would) fit the police operation method.”
The chairperson of the hearing panel, Suhakam commissioner Mah Weng Kwai, cautioned that this is all hearsay at the moment.
Suhakam inquiry on missing 4 summons former IGP
FORMER inspector-general of police Khalid Abu Bakar has been subpoenaed by the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia’s (Suhakam) public inquiry on the disappearance of Pastor Raymond Koh and three other activists tomorrow.
Suhakam commissioner Mah Weng Kwai said Khalid was served the letter last week.
“We have sent him the letter, and we were told that he had received it. We have also subpoenaed an officer from the Selangor Islamic Religious Department (Jais).
“Whether they come or not, we can’t say. All witnesses are important and we are only interested to find out the truth,” he told The Malaysian Insight.
More than 15 people have been subpoenaedm and the commission has interviewed 35 people, including family members of the missing four, police and interested parties.