GEORGE TOWN: The Anna Jenkins inquest today heard more details written in a diary left behind by the Aussie grandmother in her hotel room before she disappeared five years ago after taking an Uber ride.
Police inspector Fikri Mohammed Jaafar, 32, said a diary entry showed that Anna “could not afford” to return to Australia and that two unidentified men were after her.
“She also wrote that she had trouble with the Australian police,” he told coroner Norsalha Hamzah, adding that he had taken over 20 photos of the diary.
The inquest previously heard from an investigating officer that Anna had written in the diary that she was trying to evade a drug case in her Adelaide hometown.
Fikri said when he and two colleagues checked Anna’s luggage left in her hotel room a day after she went missing, they found a piece of clothing that gave them a sense that Anna wanted to flee from Australia.
“There was a new piece of clothing with a receipt from Prangin Mall, with the words “Escape” on it. I was surprised by it, and I thought it stood out. I felt she was trying to escape from something. Her husband told us she had bought it just before she left the hotel,” he said.
Fikri revealed that Anna’s mobile phone was found wedged in-between folded clothing in her luggage. He said the phone had the same number that was cited by her husband in a previous police report where he had claimed that two Ukrainians had held his wife to ransom for her passport.
The Jenkins’ family lawyer Raveentharan Subramaniam then asked Fikri if there had been any SIM card in that phone and if he had verified the number.
Fikri said he and his colleagues took her husband Frank’s word that it was Anna’s phone. However, when asked if Anna’s passport was found in her room, Fikri replied in the negative, saying all her personal effects were not there.
When Raveentharan asked Fikri if he had asked Frank about the contents of the diary they had stumbled upon, the latter said he could not remember.
Later, Raveentharan asked another senior policeman, Alimin Saali, to explain why Anna’s death certificate was issued as soon as two days after her skeletal remains were found in Batu Gantong in 2020.
“How could the mere discovery of skeletal remains lead to a death certificate just two days after the bones were found?” he asked.
In response, the former officer-in-charge of the Patani Road police station said: “I’m not an expert.” The bones were found on June 24, 2020, within his jurisdiction.
Anna’s death certificate, which was later tendered as a court exhibit, showed the cause of death as “undetermined (skeletal remains)”, registered on June 26 the same year.
Khairul Anuar Abdul Halim, Yazid Mustaqim Roslan, Farah Aimy Zainul Anwar and Shahrezal Shukri also assisted the coroner in the inquest, while Asmeeta Rajendran and Nur Adilla Zaharuddin appeared for the Jenkins family.
Frank Pangallo, a South Australian parliamentarian and officials from the Australian High Commission were also present.