KUALA LUMPUR: A police officer from Bukit Aman’s elite task force team told a public inquiry into missing persons today that he was the first to discover Pastor Raymond Koh’s picture at a house in Perak, believed to be the home of a drugs and human trafficking suspect.
Hazrul Kamis, who is attached to the Special Task Force on Organised Crime (Stafoc), said he had gone to the house in Pengkalan Hulu, Perak, hours after he and other officers shot dead the suspect in Baling, Kedah, on July 16 last year.
He said he learnt the address of the house after the Kedah police forensics team told him they had found it in the suspect’s car.
“When I entered the house with my team members, I introduced myself as a policeman to a woman whom I believed was the suspect’s wife,” he said.
“We proceeded to check the house, where we found and seized several items such as bullets, pictures of a car with the number plates, and pictures resembling a Chinese man,” he told the inquiry panel of the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam).
When asked by Koh’s family lawyer, Jerald Gomez, whether the “Chinese man” in the pictures was the missing pastor, Hazrul confirmed it was Koh and said he knew about Koh’s disappearance as it had been widely publicised by the media.
Hazrul said after he found the items, he immediately called his superior, Criminal Investigation Department (CID) deputy director Huzir Mohamed.
“I told my boss about the pictures resembling Raymond Koh found in the house,” he added.
However, Gomez disputed Hazrul’s testimony that he had found Koh’s pictures at the house.
“I would like to point out to you that there was a second team that went back to the house a few days after your team,” he said, adding that this was gathered from the previous testimonies of Huzir and former inspector-general of police Khalid Abu Bakar.
“There was no corroboration from the other witnesses that he was the one who took the items,” Gomez told the panel.
Hazrul nonetheless maintained that he was the one who had seized the items. He said he had also prepared a police seizure list for the purpose before handing them over to the investigating officers in the Pengkalan Hulu police district.
“I only knew that the pictures were indeed of Raymond Koh after a meeting that night which state CID chief (Fadzil Ahmat) and investigating officer Supari Mohammad attended.”
He added that he was unaware whether another group of policemen had gone to the house on a separate occasion.
Koh, 63, was abducted from his car by a group of more than 10 men in a convoy of vehicles on Feb 13 last year.
CCTV footage showed at least three black SUVs were involved in the abduction. Many speculated that Koh’s abduction might have been connected to his alleged attempts to spread Christianity, although his family has dismissed such claims.
A ride hailing driver, Lam Chang Nam, claimed trial in the Magistrate Court’s to abducting Koh, along with seven men at large this year.
He was also accused of blackmailing Koh’s son, Jonathan, last year.
The inquiry halted the hearing in January after Lam was charged. However, Suhakam commissioners later ruled that the subject matter in court was not the same as that of the public inquiry.
Suhakam’s inquiry into Perlis activist Amri Che Mat, who is also missing, was closed in October after two witnesses failed to turn up to testify.
The inquiry into the disappearance of Pastor Joshua Hilmy and his wife Ruth has yet to begin.