Inquiry into Raymond Koh Case Resumes with New Witness

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Suhakam holds closed-door meeting with cops and family over the pastor’s disappearance.

The Human Rights Commission of Malaysia’s (Suhakam) inquiry into the disappearance of pastor Raymond Koh will resume next month with the calling of a new and final witness.

“For Pastor Raymond’s case, we are going to call an additional witness for the next hearing date on Dec 7.

“We might also close the case if everything goes well,” said Suhakam complaints and monitoring group deputy secretary Simon Karunagaram after a closed-door meeting between commissioners Datuk Mah Weng Kwai, Prof Datuk Dr Aishah Bidin and Dr Nik Salida Suhaila Nik Saleh and the police and the family’s legal counsel on Thursday (Nov 15).

Simon said the witness would be summoned along with Special Branch officer Awaluddin Jalid, who is reportedly on medical leave until the end of the month.

However, he declined to reveal the witness’ identity.

Last month, the inquiry heard that police could have planted evidence at a dead suspect’s home in Pengkalan Hulu, Perak.

Koh’s family lawyer, Jerald Gomez, said based on former inspector-general of police Khalid Abu Bakar’s testimony, police found photographs of Koh, his house, vehicle and his car number plates at the suspect’s home.

“But in the inquiry, we hear there were no number plates in the police search list.”

On June 17 last year, a suspected drug smuggler and human trafficker was shot dead near Baling, Kedah. Police also arrested four of the suspect’s accomplices.

Further investigations led police to the dead man’s house, where they found the photos of Koh, his vehicle and home.

Simon said the panel had also decided to close the inquiry into Perlis activist Amri Che Mat, which ended on Oct 31 with no conclusion on his whereabouts. Amri is believed to have been abducted near his home in Kangar on Nov 24, 2016.

“Regarding Amri, in the previous inquiry, we said that it was closed and that this was subject to reopening if there were new witnesses or evidence. We have now closed the case for good,” he said.

Simon also said that the inquiry into a third case, the disappearance of Pastor Joshua Hilmi and his wife Ruth Sitepu, would be discussed on Dec 7.

The Suhakam inquiry wants to determine whether the four cases are enforced disappearances sanctioned by the state.

Meanwhile, Koh’s mother has passed away at the age of 93.

According to his wife Susanna Liew, Tan Meo Ngo passed away on Sunday (Nov 11) morning.

“She was not feeling well for weeks and she wasn’t able to eat much.

“She did not have any major sickness, and she passed away due to old age,” Liew was quoted telling The Star on Wednesday (Nov 14).

When asked whether Tan was aware that her son had been abducted before she passed away, Liew said “she doesn’t know”.

“It is not just my decision but also the brothers and sisters, we did not want to cause her any alarm.

“We thought it would be best not to disturb her peace of mind or make her worry,” she said.