Sosilawati murders: Subpoenas issued to embarrass prosecution, says DPP
SHAH ALAM, July 6 — The subpoenas issued to three Deputy Public Prosecutors (DPPs) in the murder trial of cosmetics millionairess Datuk Sosilawati Lawiya and three other individuals aimed to embarrass the prosecution, the High Court here was told today.
DPP Nur Azimul Azami Mohamad Nor said the application by the defence to subpoena Ishak Mohd Yusoff, Saiful Edris Zainuddin and Idham Abd Ghani as witnesses in its application to reject two exhibits in the case aimed to remove the three DPPs from the prosecution team.
“This application is mala fide and is aimed at disturbing the flow of the trial. The defence is under pressure after the first accused, N. Pathmanabhan, gave his testimony and was cross-examined.
“This application is also offensive, and is an abuse of the court process which the court should not allow,” he said in his submission during the application by the prosecution to set aside the subpoena.
On Wednesday, the three DPPs were subpoenaed to become witnesses in the application by the defence to reject the two exhibits in the form of proceeding notes involving the case of two prosecution witnesses, U. Suresh and K. Sarawanan, who were charged in the Telok Datok Magistrate’s Court, Banting with disposing evidence in the murder case.
Suresh, 28, and Sarawanan, 21, are now serving a 20-year jail sentence at the Sungai Udang Prison, Melaka.
Former lawyer Pathmanabhan, 43, and three farm workers, T. Thilaiyalagan, 21, R. Matan, 22, and R. Kathavarayan, 32, were ordered to enter their defence on the charge of murdering Sosilawati, 47, bank officer Noorhisham Mohamad, 38, lawyer Ahmad Kamil Abdul Karim, 32, and Sosilawati’s driver, Kamaruddin Shamsuddin, 44.
They were charged with 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, under Section 302 of the Penal Code which carries the mandatory death sentence upon conviction.
Nur Azimul further submitted that the task of the prosecution was to note down the facts of the case if the accused wished to plead guilty, while the task of the court was to decide whether a particular fact of the case should be accepted or rejected.
Nur Azimul also said that the subpoenas on Ishak, Saiful Edris and Idham should be set aside as they could not give statements that were relevant or material to assist the defence, and that the application for the subpoena was not made in a bona fide manner and amounted to an abuse of the court process.
He said this was because counsel Manjeet Singh Dhillon, representing Pathmanabhan, still had an application in the Court of Appeal to expunge the facts linking his client in the two proceedings note.
“In his testimony, Manjeet had clearly stated that he would turn Ishak, Saiful Edris and Idham into hostile witnesses. This shows the actual intention of this application before the three DPPs were called as witnesses again.
Meanwhile, Manjeet Singh submitted that any evidence from any witness touching on how the two documents (note of proceedings) were set up, created and came about was relevant and material.
He submitted that the prosecution team was acting mala fide as they were tailoring evidence and manipulating the drafting and presentation of facts for the intended use in the anticipated High Court trial.
“The evidence of the prosecutors is material to establishing the disputation of the two documents (note of proceedings), the rehabilitation of the credibility of Suresh and Sarawanan and consequently reaffirming the evidence they gave as prosecution witnesses that favoured the defence,” he said.
Counsel Amer Hamzah Arshad submitted that at the time Suresh and Sarawanan were charged, there had yet to be a conviction under Section 302 of the Penal Code against any of the accused persons in the present trial.
In other words, he submitted, there had yet to be in existence a principal offence for the purposes of charges against Suresh and Sarawanan.
“It must be borne in mind that a court cannot convict Suresh and Sarawanan until and unless it can be proven that the principal offence of murder had been committed,” he submitted.
Justice Datuk Akhtar Tahir fixed July 23 to decide the matter. — Bernama