TENOM: A police officer who seized a handphone from a witness in Ebit Lew’s sexual harassment case did not check the contents, despite knowing the case was linked to the preacher.
Salwani Hadzir, 40, told the magistrates’ court here that although she was informed the case involved Ebit, she was not aware that it was pertaining to alleged sexual harassment.
“I was only informed by the investigating officer DSP Noor Ashikin Shamsuri that the case involved Ebit Lew,” she told counsel Ram Singh during cross-examination at the preacher’s sexual harassment trial today.
However, Salwani said she had typed in Section 509 of the Penal Code on a set of three photographs of the handphone and SIM card that she seized from Fairuz Abu on Oct 5, 2021 at his house in Alor Setar.
Salwani, a staff officer with the Kedah police contingent headquarters criminal investigation department’s women and children section, agreed with the defence counsel that when she seized the handphone from Fairuz, she knew it contained relevant items with regard to a Tenom case.
Salwani also said she had read news articles on the accused via social media before she went to Fairuz’s house to seize his handphone.
During re-examination, the police officer said she did not inspect the contents of the seized phone as each case material is required to be sent to the police forensics department for analysis.
When asked by deputy public prosecutor Nor Azizah Mohamad why Section 509 was typed out on the labels of the pictures of the seized phone and SIM card, the witness said it was because the investigation being carried out involved that section.
The prosecution today also called its third witness, preacher Firdaus Wong, 39, who is also the founder and president of a non-governmental organisation (NGO) known as Multiracial Reverted Muslims.
He told the court that the complainant in the case was among several sexual harassment victims that his NGO had helped.
Ebit, 37, is facing 11 charges, including for insulting the modesty of a 41-year-old woman by sending her text messages containing lewd words between March and June last year.
The preacher, who was charged under Section 509 of the Penal Code, faces a jail term of up to five years or a fine, or both, upon conviction.
The trial continues tomorrow.