Call to drop case against alleged kidnapper of Pastor Raymond Koh and restore focus on finding the real culprits and their state abettors.
Civil society group Citizens Against Enforced Disappearances (CAGED) has called for a review of the case against Lam Chang Nam who was accused of kidnapping Raymond Koh, in light of the Human Rights Commission’s (Suhakam) findings in its inquiry into the pastor’s abduction more than two years ago.
In a statement, CAGED said Lam was charged with kidnapping Koh 18 months ago, on Jan 15, 2018. It added that the trial was deferred twice pending a decision by the Attorney-General’s Chambers (AGC) on whether to proceed.
It said it had since learnt that Lam’s trial will only resume in December as the magistrate is going on maternity leave.
“Under mandatory rules established by the chief registrar of the courts, the verdict should have been decided on Jan 14, 2019 (within 12 months of the date of charge),” it said.
“The verdict is overdue by six months and on track to be overdue by one year.”
Having closely monitored the Suhakam inquiry, CAGED said, it was no surprise that the AGC is “ever-vacillating”.
“This is because much evidence adduced during the inquiry raises more than reasonable doubt that Lam is guilty of kidnapping.
For the charge against Lam to hold, it said, the AGC must be persuaded that Fadzil Ahmat, who led the task force investigating Koh’s disappearance, now believes that there is new evidence reversing what he told the inquiry on March 14, 2017.
CAGED said Fadzil had told the inquiry: “Investigation revealed that the suspect (Mr Lam) had nothing to do with the case and only tried to take advantage of the victim’s family.”
“CAGED calls upon Attorney-General Tommy Thomas to review the case against Lam, together with evidence in the Suhakam reports.
“CAGED is confident the review will end the pretence of prosecuting Lam and restore focus on finding the real culprits and their state abettors.”