Investigating officer denies ordering questions on proselytisation, withholds location sketch, refuses to produce camera footage.
Resuming his testimony on day five of the Pastor Raymond Koh public inquiry by Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam), investigating officer ASP Supari Muhammad was asked if he had directed the first investigating officer Inspector Ali Asra Abu Bakar to ask witnesses questions on proselytising.
“No, he acted on his own. He was asked to question witnesses on all aspects and that was one of it,” Supari said.
Ali Asra had earlier told the inquiry: “I was told by my superiors to ask the questions related to Christianisation as the victim is a pastor.”
When asked for the sketch of the location, Supari declined to produce it, saying it was protected under Section 135 of the Official Secrets Act (OSA).
This earned him a reprimand from panel chair Mah Weng Kwai.
“It would be really useful and appreciated if witnesses give us information that is useful. The notice for this inquiry was given some time ago and subpoenas were issued all in public and national interests,” Mah said.
He added that he expected the police to have sought advice on the matter from the Attorney-General’s Chambers (AGC), and that asking for sketches of the location was normal procedure.
“How long do we have to wait to see the sketch plan?”
Following a 20-minute delay, Mah ordered that the panel and lawyers visit the site at SS4b/10 later in the day to see it for themselves.
Supari also refused to produce the camera footage that the police had collected along the route of the abduction of Koh.
“I can’t tell you which camera we have secured footage for. Some traffic cameras were broken and not functioning. So I’m not sure.
“We have only one out of five cameras. It’s better to ask the task force the question on which camera was working,” he said when answering questions from the family lawyers of Koh.
Supari confirmed only one camera was secured.
“The other cameras were viewed at Lembaga Lebuhraya Malaysia (LLM) but no suspected vehicles were seen. The image was blur. So we did not secure the footage,” he said.
When shown a technical report from the investigating task force, Supari said he had not seen the report.
The family lawyers then pointed out that the report had said there were CCTV cameras at six locations that could help the investigation.
Supari said he did not know for sure if the report was actually sent by his technical team.
When the family lawyers described the abduction to him and asked if he thought the operation was well-trained and well-organised, he said: “no, it could have been done by anyone”.
He also disagreed that the operation was “well synchronised”.
“If it was the police it would have been better planned and executed. The location was not suitable for a police operation. The timing, traffic condition, location and weather would not be suitable for a police operation.
“The best location would be a place that did not endanger the public,” Supari said.
He confirmed that he asked his technical officers to trace Koh’s mobile phone.
“They traced the location and calls made and received. The officers are not required to update the family on this and if they did it would be beyond their job scope.
“The final ping from the phone was in Taman Mayang,” he said.
When questioned if the abductors had exited along Taman Bahagia, Supari said “yes and then they used the smaller roads”.
He agreed with the lawyers that if there were more CCTVs it would help the case but it also depended on whether they were working or not.
“At the end of Jalan Bahagia there’s an MPPJ CCTV camera that was not working. We did not get the footage from the housing areas.
“My technical officers did not inform me about the route taken by the abductors and I did not ask them about it,” he added.
In the afternoon, members of the public inquiry panel, ASP Supari, lawyers for Koh’s family, police and other observers, as well as media representatives visited the site in Kelana Jaya where Koh was allegedly abducted.
The visit began with a discussion with Koh’s family members the houses they had approached in the vicinity to get CCTV footage.
Mah later questioned Supari on 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 occurred.
The visit took about 20 minutes, concluding the fifth day of the inquiry which is scheduled to resume on Nov 13.