Witness at hearing tells of pastor's abduction

Pastor Raymond Koh was kidnapped on Feb 13 in Petaling Jaya in broad daylight.
Pastor Raymond Koh was kidnapped on Feb 13 in Petaling Jaya in broad daylight.

KUALA LUMPUR • A witness in a public hearing on the case of a missing Malaysian pastor who was abducted in February said he had "stumbled" upon the incident while he and a friend were driving to a crematorium on Feb 13.

The kidnapping eight months ago of Christian pastor Raymond Koh has drawn anxiety in Malaysia, after a security video from a house nearby showed he was kidnapped by several men wearing ski masks after his car was blocked by several vehicles in broad daylight.

Police have failed to make headway in the case, and more questions were raised when the since-retired police chief said Mr Koh, 62, who is also a social activist, might have been kidnapped by a human trafficking gang.

Yesterday, on the first day of the hearing conducted by the government-appointed Human Rights Commission (Suhakam), witness Roeshan Celestine Gomez, 25, said he saw three big, black vehicles surrounding a silver car in a Petaling Jaya street that day. There were several men wearing masks and they were covered from head to toe in black, said the law student.

He said he then saw a struggle between one of the men and the driver of the silver car, adding that the car's windscreen was smashed.

Mr Gomez reversed his car and drove off. He said he saw a man recording the incident with a handphone and there were a few motorcyclists circling the scene. The group later drove away, taking the silver car with them.

Mr Koh's silver car has not been found.

Suhakam commissioner Mah Weng Kwai said the inquiry will also cover the disappearance of social activist Amri Che Mat, pastor Joshua Hilmi and his wife, Ms Ruth Sitepu. Police probes into their disappearances have all drawn a blank, while raising public questions.

THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 20, 2017, with the headline 'Witness at hearing tells of pastor's abduction'. Print Edition | Subscribe