Claims of Huntley being involved in fight inaccurate, say police

KUANTAN: State CID chief Senior Asst Comm Datuk Mohd Zakaria Ahmad has denied a British news report that police are investigating claims that Briton Gareth David Huntley (pic) was involved in a fight shortly before he disappeared.

He said the fight allegation, reported by British news website The Telegraph, was not true and mere speculation.

“I was in Pulau Tioman on Saturday and I interviewed several witnesses myself. What they told me contradicts what the foreign reporter wrote. That report is inaccurate,” said SAC Mohd Zakaria when contacted, Sunday.

The Telegraph had reported that Huntley might have been murdered following claims he had been involved in a fight shortly before he went missing.

The article also included claims by an unnamed local tour guide that police had told certain beach chalet owners that Huntley’s throat had been slit.

It also quoted Kampung Juara chief Ab Razib Ali Awang as saying that most locals believe something sinister had happened to Huntley.

SAC Mohd Zakaria had previously said the post-mortem on Huntley’s body had revealed no injuries.

He had however, also said police were not ruling out foul play but that it was still early in the investigation.

On the status of the investigation into Huntley’s cause of death, SAC Mohd Zakaria said the investigation was still ongoing and police were now scrutinising the Chemistry Department’s reports.

Huntley, who had come to the island to volunteer at a turtle conservation project, had gone trekking alone to the Lubuk Teja waterfall on May 27.

His decomposed body was discovered in the Mentawak River, about 20m from a kayak storage unit at the Juara Lagoon chalet on June 4.

On Saturday, Pahang police chief Senior Deputy Comm Datuk Sharifuddin Ab Ghani confirmed the body was Huntley’s after DNA test results determined a positive match with blood samples collected from the deceased’s mother Janet Southwell.