No criminal elements were found by police when they visited the residence of missing pastor Joshua Hilmy and wife Ruth Sitepu in Kg Tunku, the Malaysian Human Rights Commission (Suhakam) public inquiry was told today.
DSP Supari Muhammad, who is the 15th witness in the inquiry into the disappearance of the pastor and his wife, visited Joshua’s house in 2017 said that there was nothing suspicious at their home.
“There was nothing suspicious. The house also was not in a mess.
“There were no criminal elements, so I handed over the case to the OCS (Sg Way police chief),” he told the inquiry today.
Supari is a former senior investigating officer from the Petaling Jaya police headquarters from 2017 to 2018.
He then got transferred to the Malacca Tengah police station.
Supari went to their house one week after Joshua’s friend, Peter Pormanan, lodged a police report in March 2017.
“I went to the house with Peter and one of my officers.
“The reason was I wanted to check on the address of the couple and to see if there were any bodies,” he said.
Suhakam officer Simon Karunagaram then asked if he took any pictures.
Supari said he didn’t take any pictures but had instructed the investigating officer to take pictures and record statements.
Simon then asked Supari if he saw anything out of the ordinary during the visit, to which the police officer replied that there was nothing unusual.
Commissioner Madeline Berma then asked Supari if pictures were taken after the visit.
Supari said pictures were taken, but he hadn’t seen them.
Berma then asked Supari why he thought there were no suspicious elements and if the couple had left in a hurry.
Supari said that everything looked normal in their home.
“The house was locked and there was no forced entry. There were also no clothes or other items scattered on the floor,” he said.
Simon then asked if there was any connection between Joshua and the case of another missing pastor, Raymond Koh, to which Supari said the two cases were not connected.
“The police are pursuing many angles, and one of the angles is that both are spreading Christianity.”
He also added that the police were pursuing a missing person’s case and were not specifically looking at their religious activities.
Little is known about Joshua and Ruth, believed to be victims of enforced disappearance.
In 2018, two years after they went missing, Ruth’s siblings lodged a missing person’s report.
Her family are from the fishing village of Nambiki in northern Sumatra, Indonesia.
International human rights laws define enforced disappearance as when a person is secretly abducted or imprisoned by a state or political organisation, or by a third party with the authorisation, support or acquiescence of a state or political organisation.
The Suhakam panel is chaired by Mohd Hishamuddin Yunus, assisted by commissioners Jerald Joseph and Madeline.
The inquiry will resume on October 7. – TMI