Appellate Court Sets Aside Acquittal Of 5 Men
PUTRAJAYA – The Court of Appeal here Monday ordered five men to enter their defence on a murder charge after setting aside a Johor Baharu High Court’s decision to acquit and discharge them.
The three-member panel comprising Datin Paduka Zaleha Zahari, Datuk Abdul Wahab Patail and Datuk Zaharah Ibrahim allowed the prosecution’s appeal to set aside the High Court’s decision which had acquitted the five without ordering them to enter their defence.
Justice Zaleha said it was the court’s opinion that there was prima facie established against Rasdi Ngasiman, 29, Samsudin Muhammad Yusuf, 29, Zaini Sabtu, 26, Zainal Sabtu, 28, and Mohd Yazid Tukimin, 28.
She then remitted the case to the High Court for them to make their defence.
The five were among nine people acquitted by the High Court on Nov 19, 2007, for the murder of 19-year-old Md Ridzuan Jumaat at a playground in Jalan Tembikai 17, Taman Kota Masai, Johor Baharu.
The prosecution proceeded with the appeal today against the five after it could not serve the notice of hearing of the appeal on the other four.
Justice Zaleha then set Nov 8 for mention of the case of Rosman Jiman, 30, Mohd Eddy Mohamed, 28, Mohd Nazri Dempok and Mohd Syawal Shamsuddin, 25, after deputy public prosecutor Najib Zakaria informed the court that he would try to serve the notice on the four.
Earlier, Najib submitted that High Court judge Syed Ahmad Helmy Syed Ahmad (now Court of Appeal judge) erred when he acquitted the five without ordering them to make their defence.
He said the pathologist had found that Ridzuan’s cause of death was multiple injuries most likely caused by blunt trauma. Ridzuan’s body was found floating near a river bank by lorry driver Ng Chiew Piae who was fishing.
Najib said the trial judge had acquitted them on the grounds that there was doubt as to the cause of death as disclosed by the pathologist stating that there was a possibility of drowning as the cause of death of the deceased.
He said prosecution evidence showed that the deceased was beaten by the respondents, including with a helmet and a stick, and was also kicked as a result of jealousy, which was sufficient to make an inference that the respondents wanted to murder Md Ridzuan.
Najib said it was the evidence of the deceased’s girlfriend who had accompanied him (the deceased) to the playground that identified the respondents as the persons who had caused a series of blows on the deceased who had no chance to defend himself.
Lawyer K.Sandrasegaran said there was a clear break of the chain of events because there was no evidence linking the assault at the playground to the drowning. – BERNAMA