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Police incompetent in search for missing activist, says task force report
Published on: Wednesday, March 20, 2024
By: FMT, Ho Kit Yen
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Police incompetent in search for missing activist, says task force report
Norhayati Ariffin filed a suit in 2019 against the government and 20 others over the conduct of the home ministry and police in their investigation into her husband’s disappearance in 2016.
Kuala Lumpur: The High Court here today was told a special task force set up to look into Amri Che Mat’s disappearance had concluded that the police were incompetent in handling the missing activist’s case.

Amri’s wife Norhayati Ariffin disclosed the contents of the task force’s report during the hearing of her suit against the police and government.

She filed the suit in 2019 against the government and 20 others over the conduct of the home ministry and police in their investigation into her husband’s disappearance in 2016.

“The task force said the police were negligent and incompetent as they failed to reclassify Amri’s case as a kidnapping case, from a missing person’s case.

“The Attorney-General’s Chambers had instructed the case to be classified as kidnapping after Suhakam’s inquiry ended,” she said.

Norhayati was allowed to access the task force’s report after the government withdrew its appeal to challenge another High Court’s decision to grant her access.

Norhayati also told the court the report had recommended that the police or an independent investigation agency continue probing Amri’s case for kidnapping.

“The task force recommended that investigation papers for Amri and Pastor (Raymond) Koh be referred to the Attorney-General’s Chambers every three months,” she added.

When questioned by her lawyer Surendra Ananth on whether the police had updated her on Amri’s case as suggested by the task force, Norhayati said she had not received any updates.

“I didn’t know that his case was reclassified as a kidnapping case,” she said.

The hearing continues before Justice Su Tiang Joo.

The task force, led by former High Court judge Abd Rahim Uda, was formed to follow up on the findings by a Suhakam inquiry on the disappearance of Amri and Koh.

The inquiry concluded that Amri was a victim of enforced disappearance carried out by the state, specifically the police’s Special Branch.

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