SHAH ALAM, July 3 (Bernama) -- The murder trial of cosmetics
millionairess Datuk Sosilawati Lawiya and three others will commence and
proceed for three months at the High Court here tomorrow.
The case, which drew nationwide publicity, will be heard before Judge
Datuk Akhtar Tahir with 50 witnesses expected to testify on behalf of
Former lawyer N. Pathmanabhan and three plantation workers T.
Thilaiyagan, R. Matan and R. Khatavarayan, pleaded not guilty to the
murders of Sosilawati, 47, bank officer Noorhisham Mohamad, 38, lawyer
Ahmad Kamil Abdul Karim, 32, and Sosilawati's driver, Kamaruddin
They were alleged to have committed the murders at Lot 2001, Jalan
Tanjung Layang, Tanjung Sepat, Banting, on Aug 30, last year.
The four were charged under Section 302 of the Penal Code which carries the mandatory death sentence upon conviction.
Deputy Public Prosecutors Ishak Mohd Yusof, Saiful Edris Zainuddin and
Idham Abd Ghani make up the prosecution team, while all the accused
would be represented by Manjeet Singh, Puspha Ratnam, Amer Hamzah
Arshad, Datuk Ng See Teong, Ravi Nekoo and Gurbachan Singh.
The trial would alleviate to a certain extent the distress of the
victims' families after a wait of almost a year for it to start. It had
been reported they had been missing since Aug 30 after informing their
families they were going to Banting about a land deal.
The mystery of the missing victims was cleared last Sept 12 when Bukit
Aman Criminal Investigations Department director Datuk Seri Mohd Bakri
Zinin confirmed all of them had been brutally murdered, burnt and their
ashes thrown into a river.
Last Feb 21, the High Court here heard an appeal and review of
sentencing on two others charged with disposing the bodies of
Sosilawati, Noorhisham, Ahmad Kamil and Kamaruddin.
High Court Judge Datuk Mohtaruddin Baki increased K.Sarawanan and U.Suresh's sentences from seven to 20 years.
By the powers vested under the Criminal Procedure Code (CPC) to review a
lower court's decision, Judge Mohtaruddin found the magistrate had
erred in handing down a seven-year sentence for such a 'heinous' crime.
Sarawanan, 20, and Suresh, 27, were each sentenced to 28 years in
prison after they pleaded guilty at the Telok Datok Magistrate's Court
on four counts of disposing evidence.
Sarawanan confessed to burning the bodies of the victims at Lot No
2001, Jalan Tanjung Layang, Tanjung Sepat, Banting on Aug 30 last year
while Suresh disposed off the ashes in the Panchau River, Jalan Morib,
Banting the next day.
Mohtaruddin also ordered their prison terms to run consecutively
instead of concurrently as handed down in the Magistrate's Court
It is believed that the prosecution would call on Sarawanan and Suresh to testify during the proceedings.