Banting murders: Defence fails to get dpps as witnesses
Posted on July 24, 2012, Tuesday
SHAH ALAM: The defence in the murder trial of cosmetic millionaires Datuk Sosilawati Lawiya and three others failed in their attempt to get three deputy public prosecutors (DPPs) to be called as witnesses when the High Court here yesterday rejected their application.
Justice Datuk Akhtar Tahir, in his decision, said that the defence, prior to this, had created a situation where the three DPPs had acted in mala fide for suing U Suresh and K Sarawanan for perjury.
He said that based on the Federal Constitution, the power to prosecute was that of the DPP and the court had no grounds to question the matter.
“If the power can be questioned, every charges made by the prosecution can also be questioned.
“If an individual has been charged, the court will decide whether the prosecution has succeeded in establishing the case or not,” he added.
Prior to this, defence lawyer Manjeet Singh Dhillon submitted an application to subpoena the three DPPs, Ishak Mohd Yusoff, Saiful Edris Zainuddin and Idham Abd.Ghani, to appear as witnesses in its bid to expunge two exhibits in the case.
The application was made on grounds that the exhibits, which were the notes of proceedings in the case of Suresh and Sarawanan charged with disposing of evidence in the murders, had been submitted in court by the three DPPs and they were also were also involved in the proceeding of the case involving Suresh and Sarawanan at the Telok Datok Magistrate’s Court in Banting.
Suresh, 28, and Sarawanan, 21, are now serving a 20-year jail sentence at the Sungai Udang Prison in Melaka for disposing of evidence related to the murders.
Akhtar also dismissed the defence’s application for a stay of proceedings, pending their appeal against yesterday’s decision.
However, he gave until Thursday for the defence to obtain an order from the Appeals Court for him to postpone proceeding of the case.
On the notes of proceedings in Suresh and Sarawanan’s case, Akhtar said the permission to use the document in the hearing only involved the issue on whether the two witnesses had testified voluntarily or forced to do so.
“The only party that can decide the matter is the judge. In this case, the (Teluk Datok) magistrate had ruled the guilty plea by Suresh and Sarawanan was made voluntarily.
“Hence, the court need not have to call other witness to prove whether their guilty plea was made voluntarily or forced to.
“The fact that the two accused persons (Suresh and Sarawanan) had pleaded guilty and admitted to the facts was in favor of the defence. If they were not sentenced and still have their charge hanging over their head, it would make it difficult for them to be called as witnesses.
“So I disallowed the application to subpoena the three DPPs as witnesses and the DPPs can proceed with this case,” he said.
Manjeet said the defence would appeal against the decision.
“We will file notice of appeal immediately as the DPPs should recuse themselves. This is material to our case because four people are facing death penalty. This court should allow us to exhaust the matter,” he said.
Former lawyer N Pathmanabhan, 43, and three farm workers, T Thilaiyalagan, 21, R Matan, 22, and R Kathavarayan, 32, have been ordered to enter their defence on a charge with murdering Sosilawati, 47, bank officer Noorhisham Mohamad, 38, lawyer Ahmad Kamil Abdul Karim, 32, and Sosilawati’s driver, Kamaruddin Shamsuddin, 44.
The are charged with committing the murders at Ladang Gadong, Jalan Tanjong Layang, Tanjung Sepat in Banting between 8.30pm and 9.45pm on Aug 30, 2010. — Bernama