Joshua Hilmy Inquiry: Cop Says He Wasn’t Surprised Joshua Was in Church

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A police officer told a Suhakam inquiry today that he felt there was nothing strange about Joshua Hilmy being at a church or being a Christian as Malaysia allowed people to practise their religious beliefs freely.

The 13th witness at the public inquiry into the disappearance of Joshua and Ruth Hilmy, Hairol Azhar, was answering a question from lawyer Philip Koh whether he found it strange that Joshua, who is a Malay and a Muslim, was in church.

Human Rights Commission (Suhakam) chief commissioner Hishamuddin Yunus then asked if he carried out a further probe on Joshua who went missing in November 2016.

Hishamuddin said it is true that Malaysia practises freedom of religion but Hairol should have probed further as Joshua was missing.

Joshua, who had converted to Christianity, and his wife, Ruth Sitepu, were last seen on Nov 30, 2016.

Hairol was the Sungai Way police chief in 2018 when he was assigned to track the whereabouts of Joshua.

Hairol earlier said Joshua lived in a home in Kampung Tunku, Petaling Jaya, belonging to a church-goer who allowed Joshua to stay without paying rent.

Koh later asked Hairol if he had asked the Kampung Tunku house owner on how he knew Joshua.

The officer replied the owner, when questioned in 2018, said he had met Joshua two years earlier at a church in Seberang Prai. He told police Joshua went missing in December 2016.

Asked if he had questioned the owner why he let Joshua stay for free, Hairol replied “they could be good friends”. – FMT