JI escape: COI’s report and ministerial statement

Excerpts from the Committee of Inquiry report on alleged JI leader Mas Selamat Kastari’s escape:

The COI believes that while inside the urinal cubicle, Mas Selamat climbed onto the ledge located just below the ventilation window, pushed open the ventilation window and squeezed himself through it. To help his descent, he probably held on to a water pipe running vertically down the external wall of the toilet. The COI received forensic evidence from CID that smudges were found on the water pipe, although there were no conclusive fingerprints. A packet of 7 rolls of toilet paper was found on the ground adjacent to the external wall, which he could have used to break his fall when he descended.

Having climbed down the water pipe, Mas Selamat was on the ground at the rear of the Family Visitation Block. There is no conclusive evidence of the exact route Mas Selamat took to escape. However, the COI’s view is that Mas Selamat was likely to have used a route 20 metres to the right of the ventilation window [as one faces the perimeter fences from the ventilation window].

This is where the inner and outer perimeter fences converged with the enclosed staircase and walkway. Mas Selamat would have scaled the fence, climbed onto the roof of the enclosed staircase and walkway, and jumped over the converged perimeter fences. In a re-enactment requested by the COI, a GC guard took 49 seconds to climb out of the ventilation window in the urinal cubicle, scale the fence, climb onto the roof of the enclosed staircase and walkway, and jump over the converged perimeter fences.

The COI did not make any findings as to the route Mas Selamat took after jumping over the converged perimeter fences. Pinpointing a specific route would have been speculative, given the many possibilities and the lack of evidence on this issue. Nonetheless, the COI asked for a re-enactment of the shortest and most direct route from outside the converged fences to the Pan Island Expressway. This attempt was made by a young investigation officer and it took him 2 minutes 44 seconds to do so.

The COI believes that the 11 minutes between 3:54pm and 4:05pm would have provided Mas Selamat with ample time to make good his escape from the time he entered the toilet. This is notwithstanding the fact that Mas Selamat is older and less fit than the GC guard and the young investigation officer who had undertaken the re-enactments.

For the full COI report, click here.

For the full Ministerial Statement by the Minister for Home Affairs, click here.


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