KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 14 — The investigating officer on the case of Pastor Raymond Koh’s disappearance admitted today that the police could have done a better job keeping the family updated on their investigation.
ASP Supari Muhammad, who was answering Koh’s family lawyer Steven Thiru, said that he could not give a lot of details because the investigation was still ongoing.
However, Steven also pointed out that former Inspector General of Police (IGP) Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar had made many press announcements on the case without informing Koh’s family first.
“I don’t think I need to inform them after the news was already published. If they wanted to know more, they could have called me to find out,” Supari told the public inquiry by the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam).
Here, the former Malaysian Bar president sarcastically asked Supari whether it was all right for a worried victim’s family to find out about the ongoing investigation through the media instead of the police.
He then asked Supari whether or not it would have been better if Supari or the officer in charge of liaising with Koh’s family, especially Koh’s wife Susanna Liew, to have informed them before the IGP spoke to the media.
Supari said: “Yes.”
He then admitted that he was left in the dark regarding the police bust in Kedah which uncovered Koh’s vehicle plate number and had found out through Khalid’s announcement in the news.
Steven mentioned that Koh’s family had complained many times about Khalid making public announcements on the case without informing them first, including about the Christian pastor being investigated for suspected proselytisation of Muslim youths in Kedah.
Furthermore, Supari also admitted that he did not check every single CCTV recording within a three-km radius where Koh’s mobile phone registered its last ping with his telco service provider.
“We only checked the CCTVs where we believe the suspect was headed. We checked 15 recordings up to two weeks back. Three of the recordings were faulty and the rest were not clear.
“We also checked all the CCTVs at the tolls leaving Kuala Lumpur or Selangor. We did not find anything suspicious and unfortunately, the best and clearest recording came from Shah Alam Batu Tiga toll.
“The other toll operators did not capture the license plates of the vehicles well,” said Supari adding that he will go back to the investigation and check every single CCTV in the three-kilometre radius.
Steven also requested Supari to furnish the inquiry with the number of operating CCTVs in all toll booths leading out of Kuala Lumpur and Selangor.
Supari informed the three-member panel chaired by Datuk Mah Weng Kwai that in his experience, it was highly unlikely for suspects to use known highways with tolls.