08/19/2021 Malaysia (International Christian Concern) – As the public inquiry on missing pastor Joshua Hilmy and his Indonesian wife Ruth Sitepu continues, a witness who was the investigating officer (IO) for the case was called to testify.
Zulfadhly Yacob, a policeman in charge of the investigation, testified on August 12 that he did not come across any records of baptism activities conducted by the couple when he was working on their case.
According to Free Malaysia Today, lawyer Philip Koh, who represents Ruth’s family, asked if the witness was aware that Joshua converted from Islam and that he had identified himself as a pastor.
“I do not know, but when I recorded the statements of a husband and wife, I remember they met (him) to seek treatment. They never mentioned he was a pastor,” said Zulfadhly.
He added that he did not seek further details on whether this “treatment” was linked to baptism. He could not remember anything else from the recorded statement.
When being challenged that the investigations seemed to be delayed, Muhamad Sabri, the police representative for the inquiry, assured the representative from the Commission for the Disappeared and Victims of Violence (KontraS) Indonesia that all cases were handled with equal importance and conducted based on SOPs set by the top leadership.
The Christian couple went missing in November 2016. Rights group suspect that they were victims of enforced disappearance from the state, possibly due to their ministry sharing the Gospel. The next hearing on their case will be held on Aug 26.
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