Pastor Koh abducted by Bukit Aman men too, rules Suhakam inquiry

The panel agrees that like Amri Che Mat, the pastor was a victim of enforced disappearance. (Facebook pic)

KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysian Human Rights Commission (Suhakam) has held Bukit Aman’s Special Branch responsible for the disappearance of Pastor Raymond Koh, who was seen being abducted by several men in broad daylight in February 2017.

This comes after Suhakam blamed the same unit for the disappearance of Amri Che Mat, a Perlis-based activist who went missing in late 2016.

“The panel is of the unanimous view that Pastor Raymond Koh is a victim of enforced disappearance,” said Suhakam commissioner Mah Weng Kwai.

“He was abducted by state agents, namely the Special Branch, Bukit Aman.”

Mah said the findings were based on evidence provided by Amri’s wife, Norhayati Mohd Ariffin, who testified that a sergeant had told her the Special Branch at Bukit Aman were behind the enforced disappearances of both Koh and Amri.

He also said the police had refused to reclassify the case from abduction to enforced disappearance despite calls for them to do so.

The panel also rejected the evidence of several police officers who attested to seizing items related to Koh’s disappearance including photographs of him, his house and his vehicle from the home of a drug and arms trafficker in Pengkalan Hulu, Perak.

“If such items were indeed seized, then they must have been placed or planted by the officers concerned.

“Alternatively, if the items allegedly related to Koh were not placed or planted, the panel concludes on the balance of probability that the said officers who testified about the items being seized said so without any factual basis whatsoever and had concocted the evidence,” he said.

Koh was abducted from his car by a group of more than 10 men on Feb 13, 2017.

CCTV footage showed at least three black vehicles were involved in the abduction. Many speculated that his abduction might have been connected to his alleged attempts at spreading Christianity, although his family has dismissed such claims.

A total of 16 people testified in the inquiry into Koh’s disappearance, including former inspector-general of police Khalid Abu Bakar.