KUALA LUMPUR: The brother of Ruth Sitepu said at the Suhakam inquiry into the disappearance of her and her husband today that he was told not to inform the Indonesian embassy of his sister’s disappearance.
Iman Setiawan Sitepu, 39, said their lawyer, one Ms Huey, said a police officer had told her to tell him not to contact the embassy about the matter after he mentioned that he might do so.
He could not recall the officer’s name although he had a photograph of him.
“The lawyer told me that the police officer said: ‘Don’t contact the embassy yet. Let us look for your sister first.’
“I believe when the police said this, they were serious about locating my sister,” he said.
Ruth and her husband Joshua Hilmy, a Malay Muslim who converted to Christianity, have been missing for more than three years. They were last seen on Nov 30, 2016.
Iman also said Joshua mentioned in 2009 that he had been threatened, but that he was “not afraid”.
He said Joshua had not given any details on who had threatened him or the nature of the threat.
“He told me, ‘I am threatened often. I was threatened previously.
“I assumed that there are bad people everywhere in the world, but I did not think it would come to this.”
He added that he had not questioned Joshua any further on the matter, although his uncle said Joshua had told him that he had received a death threat.
Earlier today, Ruth’s sister Ram Ram Elisabeth Sitepu also claimed that a lawyer had stopped her from reporting Ruth’s disappearance.
“The lawyer called and said that the Malaysian police told us not to go to the embassy and to allow them to solve the case first.
“Yet after three years, we did not get any updates.”
Suhakam previously held public inquiries into the disappearance of Pastor Raymond Koh and Perlis activist Amri Che Mat. The inquiry panel concluded that they were victims of enforced disappearance.