Malaysian police release photofits of suspects in Palestinian's death

Facial reconstruction printouts of the two suspects involved in the killing of Palestinian lecturer Fadi al-Batsh.
Facial reconstruction printouts of the two suspects involved in the killing of Palestinian lecturer Fadi al-Batsh.

Malaysian police have released photofits of two men believed to have gunned down Palestinian lecturer Fadi al-Batsh in a Kuala Lumpur suburb, and identified their possible escape routes.

Kuala Lumpur police chief Mazlan Lazim said yesterday that the killers probably fled via Jalan Genting Klang, Jalan Gombak, Jalan Ibu Kota, Jalan Langkawi and areas in Danau Kota, as well as Wisma Ong Tai Kim, last Saturday.

"Both suspects were seen escaping the scene on two high-powered motorcycles," he said, urging those with information about the men's whereabouts to contact the police.

"Photofits of the men show one of them has a fair complexion. He is believed to be either of Middle Eastern or European descent, has a fairly long beard and is about 180cm in height. Both of them are well-built," he added.

Earlier yesterday, the Royal Malaysia Police released photofits of the suspects behind the shooting to the authorities at all the country's exit points.

"We have experts who compiled the photofits based on eyewitnesses, but we cannot reveal much about those who spoke to us," national police chief Mohamad Fuzi Harun told reporters.

He said the suspects were believed to be riding BMW GS and Kawasaki Versys motorcycles.

"We also retrieved 14 bullet slugs from the body of the victim... We have sent these slugs to our weapons experts here for further analysis," said Inspector-General Fuzi.

He declined to divulge further details on the case as it was still under investigation, but revealed there had been no threat made against the victim's family. He added that police may take a statement from the victim's brother - Dr Rami al-Batsh, who arrived in Malaysia earlier yesterday - if necessary.

According to The Star, the family has submitted documents to the hospital where Dr Fadi al-Batsh's body has been kept to request the release of his remains. It is believed that the family is still awaiting word from the Palestinian Embassy over whether permission to fly the body via Egypt has been granted.

A family friend revealed that the earliest the remains could begin the journey home is today.

Meanwhile, Israel has asked Egypt not to allow the body of Dr Batsh to be taken back to Gaza.

The Palestine News Network reported on Sunday that Israeli Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman had sent a "request in this regard by conventional methods", in line with Israel's policy on preventing the transfer of the bodies of martyrs from the Hamas movement for burial in the Gaza Strip.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 24, 2018, with the headline 'Malaysian police release photofits of suspects in Palestinian's death'. Print Edition | Subscribe