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It's not suicide, say Sarbaini kin
NEW STRAITS TIMES
By Hariz Mohd
KUALA LUMPUR: The family of Ahmad Sarbaini Mohamed is now more convinced than ever that the former Selangor Customs Department assistant director did not commit suicide.
This is after they spoke to a witness who said Ahmad Sarbaini was never left alone when he was at the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) office on April 6 -- the day he was found dead.
The family had given the particulars of the witness to police to assist investigations into the case, which had been classified as sudden death.
Speaking on condition of anonymity, a family member told the New Straits Times yesterday that what was revealed by the witness contradicted MACC's statement on events which transpired on the day Ahmad Sarbaini was found dead.
Hours after the Customs officer was found sprawled on a badminton court at the Selangor MACC headquarters in Jalan Cochrane here, a statement was released by the anti-graft body.
Its investigations division director, Datuk Mustafar Ali, said Ahmad Sarbaini arrived at the complex on a motorcycle at 8.26am and waited for the investigation officer (IO) at the lobby until 9.30am.
An officer then escorted Ahmad Sarbaini to the IO's room and they waited there before he left the victim alone at 10.15am to look for the IO.
Ahmad Sarbaini, 56, was said to be missing from the room, and was found lying face down on the complex's badminton court two floors below by another MACC officer at 10.40am.
"This is contradictory to what the witness said," said the family member.
"This information was passed on to the police to help in the investigations.
"We also gave them the name of the witness and his contact number.
"We are now waiting for the outcome."
The family member, a man in his 50s, said he met the witness on April 9.
"The witness told me that Ahmad Sarbaini was accompanied by more than one MACC officer into the IO's room. He was never left alone.
"The witness also gave other important details, which have been passed on to the police."
He, however, did not want to divulge any information on the witness, fearing that it would jeopardise the investigation.
He said after talking to the witness, the family was now 100 per cent sure that Ahmad Sarbaini did not commit suicide.
Ahmad Sarbaini was among 62 Customs officers detained by the MACC nationwide on April 1 for investigation into graft allegations.
He was released on bail the next day.
Several days later, Ahmad Sarbaini went to the MACC office to meet the IO to discuss his case.
MACC had said that Ahmad Sarbaini was not summoned to the office, but that he came on his own will.
His family, friends and colleagues had dismissed the allegation that he committed suicide.
They suspected there was foul play involved in his death.
Ahmad Sarbaini was described as a pious man who was also the imam at the Customs quarters in Kelana Jaya where he stayed.
A colleague had said that he played tennis with the deceased the day before he died, and rejected the possibility that Ahmad Sarbaini was suicidal.
City Criminal Investigation Department deputy chief Assistant Commissioner of Police Khairy Ahrasa said they had recorded a statement from the witness.
"In fact, we spoke to him again recently after the Attorney-General's Chambers instructed that we question him further.
"The investigation papers were then re-submitted to the chambers yesterday and we are waiting for further instructions."
He added that to date, they had interviewed 44 people in connection with the case which was still classified as sudden death.