KUALA LUMPUR, July 9
(Bernama) -- The coroner presiding over the inquest of actress K.
Sujatha's death had a difficult task ensuring the proceedings did not
reach boiling point when Member of Parliament for Kapar S.
Manikavasagam took the stand Thursday.
Coroner Mohd Faizi Che Abu at one point was forced to use his pen
to tab the table several times to get the attention of the counsel
representing Manikavasagam and Maika Holdings chief executive officer
S. Vell Paari.
It came about after
Vell Paari's counsel Datuk K. Kumaraendran vehemently argued that most
parts of Manikavasagam's testimony were secondary evidence and hearsay.
He contended that the inquest should not give much weight to the
MP's evidence since the witness himself had admitted that he did not
have any personal knowledge or evidence on Sujatha's death.
This resulted in Manikavasagam's counsel N. Surendran objecting to
Kumaraendran's contention, saying that Manikavasagan in fact was an
interested party in the proceedings since he had lodged several police
reports following two anonymous letters and three video compact discs
(VCDs) regarding the case that were sent to him by unknown individuals
or people who did not want their identities revealed.
When the exchange of words got out of hand, Mohd Faizi reminded
Surendran of his earlier ruling that he and his co-counsel M. Manogaran
were only allowed a watching brief and not questioning witnesses.
Mohd Faizi also made several rulings including that the court
would not compel Manikavasagam to reveal the identity of a man who he
claimed had handed over the 3rd VCD late last year, which allegedly
contained the recording of funeral rites for Sujatha where Vell Paari
and his father Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu had attended.
"This inquest is mainly to find out the cause of death and this
VCD in my view is not relevant to the inquest," ruled Mohd Faizi.
The inquest was ordered following the death of the 28-year-old
actress at Tengku Ampuan Rahimah Hospital in Klang on June 25, 2007,
six days after her admission to allegedly drinking weed killer.
Earlier, questioned by deputy public prosecutor Geethan Ram
Vincent who is assisting the coroner, Manikavasagam said he lodged a
police report on July 27, 2007 after receiving two anonymous letters
and two newspaper cuttings in Tamil which alleged there was foul play
in the actress' death.
He said three days before his police report, an Indian man had
contacted him via handphone claiming he had already posted two letters
containing information on Sujatha's death and wanted him to pursue the
matter with police.
"Even Sujatha's mother contacted me three months after my police
report asking whether a post-mortem was conducted on Sujatha's body and
when I told her there was none, she urged me to get justice for her
daughter's death," claimed Manikavasagam.
Queried furter by Geethan whether the caller was indeed Sujatha's
mother, Manikavasagam said he was convinced it was her since the woman
had called from the Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) office in Ipoh and had
sought the assistance of a party member, R. Jenabala.
Asked by Kumaraendran why he had insisted that Inspector-General
of Police Tan Sri Musa Hassan record his statement, Manikavasagam
claimed that it was because there had been no investigations over his
police reports and alleged that Sentul OCPD ACP K. Kumaran tried to
cover up the case.
To a final question posed by Mohd Faizi whether he wanted to say
anything further to assist the inquest, Manikavasagam said even though
he did not have any personal knowledge on the cause of Sujatha's death,
he still believed the actress was murdered.
The inquest continues tomorrow.
Kapar MP: Vell Paari behaved as if he lost his wife at Sujata’s funeral
By NURBAITI HAMDAN
Maika Holdings chief executive officer S. Vell Paari had behaved “as if
he had lost a wife” at the funeral of actress K. Sujatha, Kapar MP S.
Manikavasagam told the Coroner’s Court. Relating a video
recording in his possession to coroner Mohd Faizi Che Abu,
Manikavasagam, a witness in the inquest into Sujatha’s death, said he
identified MIC president Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu and his son, Vell
Paari, attending the funeral, in the recording. He said their spouses, however, were not in the video.
The video recording of the funeral, which was in one of three VCDs sent
to Manikavasagam, was among the evidence highlighted at the inquest.
When asked what was the relevance of the video to Sujatha’s death, he
replied: “His (Vell Paari) reaction at the funeral. It was as if he had
lost a wife.” To this, Vell Paari’s counsel Datuk K. Kumaraendran, objected and said it was merely Manikavasagam’s opinion and not a fact. Manikavasagam said the third VCD was given to him last December by Sujatha’s friend in the entertainment industry. The first two were posted to him anonymously, via Pos Ekspress in August, 2007.
When examined by deputy public prosecutor Geethan Ram Vincent,
Manikavasagam said the first VCD contained pornographic material while
the second VCD contained an unspecified video. In replying to a question, Manikavasagam said both Vell Paari and Sujatha were not in the first two VCDs. He agreed with Geethan that both VCDs had no relevance to Sujatha’s death.
Manikavasagam surrendered the first VCD to the Bukit Aman police
headquarters and addressed it to the Inspector-General of Police. However, the second VCD, which he did not bring to court, was still in his possession. Geethan: Why didn’t you surrender the second VCD? Have you seen it? Manikavasagam: Yes I have seen the video. I don’t want to surrender it because I want to see how this inquest turns out. Geethan: Why? Manikavasagam: I surrendered the first VCD. But no action was taken by the police. During the cross-examination, Kumaraendran demanded that Manikavasagam reveal his source for the third VCD. To this, N. Surendran, who represented Manikavasagam, stood up and objected. “By revealing the source’s name, the person would be subjected to danger,” he said.
Mohd Faizi later ruled that the first two VCDs were of no relevance and
Manikavasagam did not have to reveal his source for the third VCD. The inquest continues Friday.