Lawyer questions conflicting statements from two cops on Pastor Raymond Koh's abduction during Suhakam inquiry

A lawyer has questioned the conflicting statements of two police officers who had testified before Malaysia's Human Rights Commission's (Suhakam) panel on Nov. 23 regarding the disappearance of Christian pastor Raymond Koh in Petaling Jaya earlier this year.

(WIKIMEDIA COMMMONS / Two hundred percent)The Kota Darul Ehsan arch, bordering the Kuala Lumpur-Selangor border, Malaysia. Taken from a moving Kelana Jaya Line train. 17 March 2007.

On Feb. 13, several men abducted Pastor Koh at around 11 a.m. while he was en route to the house of a friend. The Suhakam has launched a public inquiry into the disappearance of the Christian pastor and three other individuals, but the hearing on Nov. 23 has been marred by confusion over the gender and race of four suspects who police had detained for investigation, The Straits Times detailed.

Speaking before the Suhakam panel on Thursday, Selangor Criminal Investigation Department chief Fadzil Ahmat said they had detained three men and a woman in connection with Pastor Koh's abduction. Further probing by the Koh family's lawyer, Jerald Gomez, revealed that the witness' statement did not jive with the testimony of ASP Supari Muhammad, who earlier said there were only four male suspects who were arrested.

"I need to go back to check this. I am not sure. To be exact I have to go back to check on this," said Ahmat, who added that Muhammad might be correct because he was the one investigating the case.

The four suspects were later freed after their remand order ended because no evidence had been found to connect them to the abduction of Pastor Koh.

Earlier this month, Free Malaysia Today reported that a policeman who initially investigated Koh's case admitted that he had questioned the pastor's wife, Susanna Liew, on proselytization allegations against her husband. Inspector Ali Asra Abu Bakar said the interview lasted for more than five hours.

Abu Bakar told the Suhakam panel during a hearing that his superiors had ordered him to ask "questions related to Christianization as the victim is a pastor."

Up to now, the Suhakam continues to investigate the disappearance of three other individuals including social activist Amri Che Mat, and Malay pastor Joshua Hilmy and his wife Ruth. The commission seeks to determine whether or not these cases were enforced disappearances.