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Necklace theft was no set-up, says MP

Contributed by Anonymous on Friday, July 22 @ 09:41:12 CDT

SocialRITA JONG Malay Mail

Youth and Sports Ministry parliamentary secretary S. Vigneswaran was yesterday accused of falsely fingering a former MIC member of stealing his gold necklace.
Counsel Teng Chan Khim, who is representing the accused, S. Yelomalai, put it to the politician that he lodged a police report to frame his client.

Teng also told Vigneswaran that although the said necklace was returned to him, he continued to pursue the matter.

Vigneswaran, who was at that time the MIC youth secretary, admitted yesterday that his family and Yelomalai’s have had problems for a long time.

He, however, denied that he had tried to frame Yelomalai and maintained that the accused and three others still at large, had assaulted and robbed him five years ago.

Yelomalai, 41, was charged with robbing Vigneswaran of his gold necklace worth RM1,800 after a MIC function on Aug 12, 2000 at Sekolah Rendah Jenis Kebangsaan Tamil, Batu 4 in Kampung Jawa, Klang.

Yelomalai, who was then the MIC Shah Alam secretary, was charged with three others who are still at large.

Yesterday was the first day of trial. Vigneswaran, who is also the Kota Raja MP, was the first prosecution witness.

During examination-in-chief by prosecuting officer Chief Inspector N. Krishnamoorthy, the witness said he was about to leave the event when the accused, his brother, and two others, came up to him and began punching him.

Vigneswaran gave a detailed account of what happened that night, which left him without a shirt and without his gold necklace. He also told the court how he was chased around the school hall, witnessed by at least 30 people.

Krishnamoorthy: What happened that night?

Vigneswaran: After the event, I was walking to my car with a friend, S. Muruga Vellu, when we were set upon by four men. I knew two of them.

Krishnamoorthy: Who were the two men you recognised?

Vigneswaran: Yelomalai and his brother, Raja.

Krishnamoorthy: What happened after that?

Vigneswaran: I tried to run but I fell after I was punched. Yelomalai then grabbed me by the collar. My shirt got torn. It was during this time that my necklace went missing.

Krishnamoorthy: What necklace was that?

Vigneswaran: A gold necklace with elephant prints on it. It was worth RM1,800.

Krishnamoorthy: What happened then?

Vigneswaran: I tried to escape and ran back into the hall. The four chased me. I fell and was beaten up again. The accused and his brother then wanted to push me into a van.

Fortunately, MIC Shah Alam division head Datuk K. Sivalingam intervened. Yelomalai then said to me, ‘This time you escape, but I will make sure that you die the next time’.

Krishnamoorthy: Did you suffer any injuries?

Vigneswaran: My neck, left jaw, and right hand were bruised. I also had other minor injuries.

Vigneswaran said he then went to a clinic in Port Klang and the next day he went to the Subang Jaya Medical Centre.

“As I was leaving the clinic that night, Yelomalai’s brother, Letchumanan, called and apologised. He told me not to report the matter. I gave him one hour to return my necklace,” he said.

Half-an-hour later, he said, Letchumanan called again and told him to go ahead and lodge a report.

Krishnamoorthy: So did you lodge a police report after that?

Vigneswaran: Yes. After leaving the clinic, I lodged a report with the help of my friend, Kanan, at the Klang police station. Muruga Vellu was also with me.

During cross-examination, Teng presented four police reports lodged by Yelomalai against Vigneswaran, since November 1999.

Vigneswaran, however, denied having knowledge of the reports, and claimed that they were false.

Teng: I put to you that you have no evidence the accused took your necklace.

Vigneswaran: I disagree.

Teng: I put to you that you only made the report to frame the accused.

Vigneswaran: I disagree.

Vigneswaran also refuted claims that the necklace was returned to him by Sivalingam.

When asked if he had the receipt for the necklace, the witness said no, but he would try to look for it.

Trial continues before magistrate Mujib Saroji on Sept 8 and 9.



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