Lawyer, farm workers charged with murder

BANTING: A lawyer, N Patmanabhan, 41, and three farm workers were yesterday charged in the Teluk Datok magistrates’ court here with the murder of cosmetics queen Datuk Sosilawati Lawiya and three men.

CHARGED: (from left) Thilaiyalagan, Matan and Kathavarayan arriving at the magistrates’ court in Telok Datok, Banting. — Bernama photo

The farm workers are T Thilaiyalagan, 19, R Matan, 20, and R Khatavarayan, 30.

No plea was recorded from the four accused who seemed calm as the charge was read out to them in Bahasa Malaysia for Patmanabhan and in Tamil for the others.

They are charged under Section 302 of the Penal Code, read together with Section 34 of the same code, with the murder of Sosilawati, 47, her driver Kamaruddin Shamsudin, 44, Kampung Baru branch CIMB Bank officer Noorhisham Mohammad, 38, and lawyer Ahmad Kamil Abdul Karim, 32, at Lot 2001, Jalan Tanjung Layang, Tanjung Sepat, Banting, between 8.30pm and 9.45pm on Aug 30.

Magistrate Hurman Hussain set Dec 16 for mention of the case after Deputy Public Prosecutor Ishak Mohamad Yusof sought a period of two months to obtain certain reports, such as the chemist’s.

Patmanabhan was brought to the court at about 8.30am in a Proton Waja car while the three others were taken there in a van.

Besides Ishak, the prosecution was represented by Idham Abdul Ghani and Saiful Edris Zainuddin.

Pathmanabhan was represented by counsel Ravi Nekoo, R Pushpa, Datuk Ng See Teong and Amer Hamzah Arshad.

The three other accused were unrepresented. Family members of the accused were not seen.

The disappearance of Sosilawati grabbed public attention after it was reported that she went missing on Aug 30 following a trip to Banting to handle a land deal.

Counsel Amer Hamzah raised the question of representation for Thilaiyalagan, Matan and Khatavarayan.

Hurman said the investigating officer had been informed about it.

“Go ahead if you want to have a lawyer appointed. Do you have anybody in mind?” the magistrate asked.

Thilaiyalagan told the court that his family had no knowledge that he had been arrested by the police.

In reply to Hurman’s question, he said he was arrested at a farm in Tanjung Layang.

Hurman then ordered the police to inform Thailaiyalagan’s family about his arrest.

He also said that the families of the three farm workers could also appoint lawyers when the case came up for hearing.

Patmanabhan told the court that the trio were not well-versed with legal matters and their right to be represented.

Hurman also allowed an application by Amer Hamzah and the three other  lawyers to meet with their client Patmanabhan for 10 minutes under police supervision.

He also allowed the four lawyers to meet with the three other accused to assist them in legal matters, also under police supervision. — Bernama

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