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PUTRAJAYA, May 27 — A general operations force (GOF) officer who led an operation to Wang Kelian, Perlis in 2015 denied today that he had called his personnel “bodoh” (stupid) for roping in six undocumented foreigners near the area.
Battalion 3, Company B commandant ASP M. Joeking Anthony said no superior including himself would berate any personnel for arresting illegal immigrants.
“Why should I be angry about being told of an arrest; rather, I would ask them to lodge a police report,” he said before a seven-member panel of the Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) into the discovery of transit camps and mass graves at Wang Kelian.
Fifth witness Joeking was recalled for the proceeding which entered its 12th day following the testimony by GOF corporal Mat Ten that he was chided and called stupid by his superior for arresting six undocumented foreigners on Jan 19, 2015, after the GOF nabbed 38 earlier the same day.
RCI chairman and former chief justice Tun Arifin Zakaria raised the contention with Joeking following Mat Ten’s testimony, the first witness to be recalled for the closed door proceeding.
According to Ariffin, Mat Ten told the panel that on the night of Jan 19, 2015, he came across foreigners along a road while on his way back after refuelling his motorcycle at a petrol station in Wang Kelian.
Arifin also read out Mat Ten’s earlier testimony to the RCI: “I was on my way back when I met some more foreigners on foot. I called for a Land Rover to bring them to the station. But Joeking said, you are so stupid. why look for them.”
The chairman also noted that Joeking’s testimony was inconsistent with those of the majority of witnesses; Joeking had also questioned the accuracy of the RCI secretariat’s typed witnesses’ testimonies and refuted other witnesses’ claims about seeing him around Wang Kelian and Danok, Thailand after work.
RCI deputy chairman and former inspector general of police Tan Sri Norian Mai had earlier referred to other witnesses’ claims that Joeking was always in the two areas even when he was not assigned, which could raise eyebrows.
Norian said he already expected Joeking to respond that the claims were all false.
Meanwhile, Joeking again insisted that he never gave a briefing on the discovery of grave-like structures in Wang Kelian during the Monthly Meeting with Perlis State Police Chief on Jan 20, 2015 at the Perlis contingent police headquarters.
“At that time, I only gave a briefing on the structure of the camps which were blue in colour and the suspension bridge,” he said.
Some witnesses including then Perlis deputy police chief Mat Zukir Mat Isa earlier testified that Joeking did mention at the meeting about finding the grave structures.
Aside from Joeking, two other witnesses testified today, namely, Perlis Lower Court assistant registrar Monica Joseph Gaisah and D10 Forensic Laboratory Criminal Investigation Department principal assistant director SAC Azhari Abd Rahman.
The RCI continues tomorrow in-camera. — Bernama