Mokhtar pulls out of task force to probe enforced disappearances (Updated)

03 Jul 2019 / 00:42 H.

PETALING JAYA: Former head of the police legal division, Datuk Mokhtar Mohd Noor, has voluntarily withdrawn from a special task force set up to investigate the disappearance of Pastor Raymond Koh and activist Amri Che Mat.

Several quarters had recently criticised the composition of the task force member, that was announced by Home Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.

Apart from Mokhtar, another ex-police officer who is on the task force is former Bukit Aman Integrity and Compliance Standard Department director, Comm Datuk Zamri Yahya.

The Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) said the police should stay out of the task force. Its commissioner Datuk Mah Weng Kwai said the Home Ministry should go back to basics and not involve police officers in the investigations as advised by Inspector-General of Police Datuk Seri Hamid Bador.

“The whole idea is to reinvestigate the disappearance of Koh and Amri (based on allegations of police involvement). It is not another inquiry based on the same evidence,“ Mah said.

An earlier inquiry by Suhakam implicated the Special Branch in the disappearance of Koh and Amri. Suhakam had recommended further investigations into the role of the police in the case.

National Patriots Association public communications director Capt Dr Wong Ang Peng said it was a mistake to appoint police officers to the task force.

“Suhakam spent 18 months on its investigations before presenting its findings. They shouldn’t find fault with Suhakam’s conclusions now,“ he said.

Citizens Against Enforced Disappearance called on the other members of the task force to resign.

“They should recognise that they are already tainted in the public eye,“ it said in a statement.

“Mokhtar’s withdrawal only meets one of the many demands of non-governmental organisations,“ it added.

Klang MP Charles Santiago said Muhyiddin should rethink the line-up of the task force.

“One person’s withdrawal will not address the concerns on neutrality,“ he said.

“The pressure and public outcry shows that the legitimacy of the constitution of the task force is in question,“ he added.

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