ALL security cameras at the spot where Pastor Raymond Koh was abducted were not working on the day he was taken from his vehicle in broad daylight, police told the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) inquiry today.
Assistant Superintendent Supari Muhammad, the first witness on the sixth day of the inquiry, said there were three cameras – two owned by the Petaling Jaya City Council (MBPJ) and one by traffic police – where Koh was abducted.
However, he said, authorities did not have recordings from these cameras as they were all not working.
“I wrote to MBPJ to ask for the recordings, but they said there were no recordings as the cameras were not working.
“As for the traffic police camera, we were informed that the camera only functions if there is an offence and when someone breaks the law. But, that camera was also not functioning. ”
Supari said police had only the CCTV recordings from the houses in Jalan SS4B/10 where Koh was abducted, and from a camera at a signboard at the Taman Mayang junction.
Supari said a CCTV camera located along the LDP highway, which Koh’s abductors were believed to have used in their getaway, was also not working.
His testimony prompted Koh’s family’s lawyers to accuse police of suppressing evidence and refusing to share CCTV recordings by claiming that all the cameras were not functioning.
“Police are suppressing evidence, but telling more than what is actually said. How can we confirm anything if they are saying all the CCTVs are spoilt?
“How do we know police have checked all the CCTVs if there is no evidence to show us that they have checked the CCTVs? “
The lawyers also asked Supari why the CCTVs were not in good working condition if they were crucial in fighting crime, to which Supari responded that police had already informed the city council about the faulty cameras.
“We wrote to MBPJ about the faulty cameras and they replied that the maintenance costs are high, so that’s the reason the cameras are faulty.”
During the inquiry’s last hearing on November 3, panel members were agitated when Supari refused to share a sketch and photo of the crime scene, saying the commission would first need to get the approval of the Attorney-General’s Chambers (AGC).
This led Suhakam commissioner Mah Weng Kwai, who is chairing the inquiry, to call for a site visit together with Koh’s family members, police and lawyers.
Another witness, police inspector Ali Asrar, had earlier refused to give up his investigation diary (ID), in which he had noted down events on the day of Koh’s abduction.
Ali said the commission would need to submit a written request to the AGC for the ID, to which Mah immediately shot him down and instructed his officers to get the ID.
Last month, former inspector-general of police Khalid Abu Bakar had admitted that police had been too slow in acting after Koh was abducted.
Khalid had also refused to answer a lot of the inquiry’s questions, referring the panel to the Criminal Investigation Department chief in charge of the investigation.
Koh was abducted in Petaling Jaya on February 13.
The Suhakam inquiry was launched on October 19 to investigate if the disappearance of Koh and three other Malaysians, namely Pastor Joshua Hilmy and his wife, Ruth, and social activist Amri Che Mat, were cases of enforced disappearance, a term that indicates an abduction with the involvement of the authorities.
Other panel members are Suhakam commissioners Aishah Bidin and Dr Nik Salida Suhaila Nik Saleha.
The panel has also heard testimonies from Koh’s wife, Susanna Liew, and son, Jonathan; Roeshan Gomez, who was driving behind Koh’s car when the abduction took place; and Harapan Komuniti director G. Sri Ram.