Banting murders: My only role was to apprehend driver, says co-accused

SHAH ALAM, Jan 30 — The fourth accused in the murder case of Datuk Sosilawati Lawiya and three other individuals told the High Court here today he did not play any other role on the day of the alleged murder, apart from apprehending the millionaire’s driver.

R. Kathavarayan, 33, was replying to a question by Justice Datuk Akhtar Tahir at the end of questioning by his counsel, Hasshahari Johari Mawi.

“What is your role in the entire episode on August 30 and August 21, 2010?” asked Akhtar.

“My first role was to apprehend the driver; secondly, I was at the scene and thirdly, I was also with (farm owner) N. Pathmanabhan (first accused) when he disposed off the handphone,” replied the farm worker.

“I also want to know what other role you had played at the farm after apprehending the driver,” Akhtar had further asked, to which the fourth accused replied, he did nothing else.

Kathavarayan was ordered to enter his defence, jointly with Pathmanabhan, 44, T. Thilaiyalagan, 22, and R. Matan, 23, on a charge of murdering Sosilawati, 47, bank officer Noorhisham Mohamad, 38, lawyer Ahmad Kamil Abdul Karim, 32, and Sosilawati’s driver, Kamaruddin Shamsuddin, 44.

They are accused of committing the offence at Ladang Gadong at Lot 2001,

Jalan Tanjong Layang, Tanjung Sepat in Banting, between 8.30pm and 9.45pm on August 30, 2010.

Earlier, when questioned by Hasshahari as to why he did not agree with counsel Manjeet Singh Dhillon’s suggestion that he was a manipulator, Kathavarayan said he testified because he wanted to relate what took place at the farm as he had watched it happen.

“You also told the court earlier, about your sister arriving at the farm on August 30, 2010 and that you lied because you were instructed to do so by counsel (Ravi Nekoo) who initially represented you. Why did this happen?” asked Hasshahari.

“The maid (prosecution witness Siti Hamidah Karnax) testified that a woman came to the farm and because of that, Pathmanabhan, his younger brother and Ravi instructed me to say that it was my sister. They instructed me to say as such, so I could win this case, otherwise, the judge would believe Siti Hamidah,” said Kathavarayan.

“It was also suggested to you that you did not lodge a police report because the incident at the farm did not happen, to which you did not agree. Why did you not tell the police at the time?,” asked Hasshahari.

“In April 2010, I did contact the police through a public phone and made a report about hearing some sounds at the farm, but less that 30 minutes later, Pathmanabhan called and asked me to go to the farm to see what was going on because he had received a call from the police, telling him that there had been a complaint.

“I did not tell the police because after I made the call, no action was taken, and because Pathmanabhan has many police friends, I did not lodge a police report,” said Kathavarayan.

“You were also asked on the RM30,000 given to you by Pathmanabhan and you said it was for a construction job. How much is left of that budget for the construction?” asked Hasshahari.

The farm worker replied: “The project has not been started. If it was, it would amount to RM50,000.”

In his earlier testimony, Kathavarayan denied he received RM30,000 from Pathmanabhan as payment for a ‘job’ he carried out on the night of the alleged murder.

The trial has been adjourned to March 12.

Akhtar fixed April 29 for submissions at the end of the defence’s case, and May 21 for judgement. — Bernama 


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