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Tuesday, April 30, 2024

Perlis mufti wanted to ‘inspect’ Amri’s home, court hears


The High Court heard that missing activist Amri Che Mat was suspected of being a Shia practitioner. (File pic)

KUALA LUMPUR: The High Court was told today that Perlis mufti Asri Zainul Abidin wanted to “inspect” Amri Che Mat’s house in 2015 on suspicion that the missing activist was a Shia practitioner.

Former Perlis police chief Noor Mushar Mohd said Asri asked the police to follow religious department officers to Amri’s house on Oct 21, 2015, to ensure public order and prevent untoward incidents.

“He (Asri) said that he was looking for Amri because the latter was involved in Shia movement.

“Anything can happen like (what happened in) Memali. They (religious department) needed us for escort to ensure their officers are safe.

“Shia (followers) are ‘obsessed’ (taksub) with their religion and will do anything to defend their faith,” Mushar said, making reference to the 1985 incident in Kampung Memali, Baling, Kedah, in which 14 villagers and four police officers were killed.

Mushar was testifying in a lawsuit filed by Amri’s wife, Norhayati Ariffin, against the police and government over the conduct of the authorities’ investigations into Amri’s disappearance.

She claimed that the defendants had broken the law and their statutory duties, committed misfeasance in public office, and were negligent in the discharge of their duties.

Under cross-examination by Norhayati’s lawyer, Surendra Ananth, Mushar said he saw Norhayati but was unsure if Amri’s children were at home when the police and Asri went to the house.

Surendra: The mufti was worried that Amri’s wife and children would take weapons and act aggressively (against the police and Asri)?

Mushar: I was there to prevent any untoward incident. It was not about the wife or children.

The lawyer then pressed Mushar on whether Asri had said that Norhayati and her children would be aggressive.

Mushar: He (Asri) did not say that, but Shias are obsessive.

Surendra: Are you biased against Shia followers?

Mushar said, as a former policeman, he was never biased against any religion and he gave his best service to the public.

Besides Mushar, three other police officers – Farah Hanum Haron, Abdul Hadi Abdul Halim and Nor Baiti Mustafa – also testified.

Farah told the court that she received Norhayati’s police report about Amri’s disappearance on Nov 25, 2016.

Meanwhile, Baiti said she was first assigned to the case when Amri’s four-wheel drive vehicle was found abandoned in Bukit Cabang, Padang Besar, adding that the windshield was smashed.

However, she told the court that she did not have evidence to tie the missing vehicle to Amri’s disappearance because she had no proof that Amri was the driver of the vehicle when it was abandoned.

The hearing continues before Justice Su Tiang Joo on June 12 and 13. - FMT

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