Hired killer should have been captured for questioning, says lawyer

Terengganu Criminal Investigation Department chief Fazlisyam Abd Majid (left) with Kemaman police chief Mohd Said Ibrahim (middle) showing the Norinco firearm and machete found during the raid two days ago. (Bernama)

PETALING JAYA: A lawyer today questioned the police for shooting dead a criminal wanted in the double murder of a former assemblyman and his cousin three years ago instead of capturing him alive for interrogation.

Syed Iskandar Syed Jaafar Al Mahdzar said the suspect, Syukri Muhamad Abiah, could have been questioned on the identity of the mastermind behind the brutal killings.

Syed Iskandar Syed Jaafar Al Mahdzar .

“The public has the right to know who was responsible for hiring the suspect to carry out the killings,” he told FMT.

Early this year, state police chief Rosli Ab Rahman said the murder case was “too complicated” as the initial probe revealed the involvement of a hired killer.

Investigations showed that Alias Abdullah, a lawyer and former assemblyman for Alur Limbat, was shot dead at point-blank range in the kitchen of his house in Bukit Payung, Marang, Terengganu on Oct 9, 2015.

This came exactly two months after Alias’ cousin, Mat Jusoh Ali, was killed in a similar manner in Kampung Padang Midin, Kuala Terengganu.

Both victims were shot once in a head with a revolver, indicating that the murders were carried out by a professional.

Syukri, who was reportedly wanted for 12 crimes in Terengganu, Kelantan and Pahang including the murders of Alias and Mat Jusoh, died in a shootout with police at Felda Neram Satu during a raid two days ago.

According to state Criminal Investigation Department chief Fazlisyam Abd Majid, the 37-year-old from Pasir Putih, Kelantan, died at the scene after being shot in the chest and head.

“The police had to shoot in self-defence. A check later found him unconscious. He died of the gunshot wounds,” Fazlisyam said at the Kemaman police headquarters.

Police also found a Norinco semi-automatic gun, a bullet and a machete belonging to the suspect at the scene.

Syed Iskandar said Mat Jusoh was a retired teacher who had been working as a clerk at Alias’ legal firm.

Alias, meanwhile, was a legal adviser to former menteri besar Ahmad Said and state authorities on the Terengganu Investment Authority (TIA), a sovereign wealth fund set up in 2008.

TIA was aimed at spurring sustainable socio-economic development in Terengganu. It was renamed as 1MDB in January 2009.