Police don’t interview witnesses until three years after pastor and wife go missing

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25/01/2022 Malaysia (International Christian Concern) – Malaysian police have interviewed only two witnesses nearly three years after the disappearance of Pastor Joshua Hilmy and his Indonesian wife Ruth Sitepu.

In an oral submission to the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) public inquiry into the case, the couple’s lawyer, Andrew Khoo, said the disinterested attitude of the police could be detrimental to the investigation, since authorities only implicated the couple’s tenants who had stayed in the same house as victims three years later.

“So imagine the criticality, if there was any criticality in the timing following the disappearance, any benefit to be gained from it is absolutely lost,” he said.

Additionally, Joshua’s brothers, Huzir and Firdaus Hanim, were also not asked to testify until nearly two years after the police report was filed.

According to Malay Mail, Khoo said Malaysia must have legislation recognizing enforced disappearances, to ensure that investigations into such cases will be carried out properly, and that authorities will have a standard to guide them.

“I think we need legislation that deals with enforced disappearances because it happened with respect to Pastor Raymond Koh and Amri Che Mat, it may have happened here, we don’t know. not”, Khoo said.

The closing argument session held on January 20 was presided over by former Datuk Court of Appeal Judge Seri Mohd Hishamudin Yunus, Sarawak Commissioner Suhakam Datuk Madeline Berma and fellow Commissioner Jerald Joseph. The panel will present its findings and recommendations at a later date, subject to confirmation.

Joshua, a Malaysian believer of Muslim background, and his wife Ruth were last seen at their home in Kg Tunku, Petaling Jaya on November 30, 2016. Suhakam suspects an enforced disappearance may have occurred in their case.

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