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Published: Thursday July 26, 2012 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Updated: Thursday May 30, 2013 MYT 5:20:51 AM

Judges in Sosilawati murder case recuse themselves

PUTRAJAYA: Two Court of Appeal judges have recused themselves from hearing an appeal in the murder case of cosmetics millionaire Datuk Sosilawati Lawiya and three others.

Lead counsel Manjeet Singh Dhillon earlier applied for the recusal of Justices Ramly Ali and Moha­med Apandi Ali because they were involved in related matters that overlapped with the issue in their appeal.

Both had previously heard a leave application by witnesses K. Sara­wa­nan, 21, and U. Suresh, 28, in April last year.

“We feel that we should recuse (ourselves). It’s not an issue of bias but justice must be seen to be done,” said Justice Ramly.

The appeal is expected to be heard before a new panel today.

The panel of judges, together with Justice Zaharah Ibrahim, were supposed to hear the defence’s appeal against a Shah Alam High Court’s decision that disallowed their application to call three DPPs as witnesses in their bid to expunge two exhibits in the case.

On Monday, Justice Akhtar Tahir disallowed the defence’s request to call DPPs Ishak Mohd Yusoff, Saiful Edris Zainuddin and Idham Abd Ghani to appear as witnesses.

The defence had earlier applied to expunge two proceedings notes from the list of exhibits on grounds that they were not relevant to the main trial as the documents only pertained to the credibility of prosecution witnesses Sarawanan and Suresh.

Sarawanan and Suresh are serving a 20-year jail sentence after pleading guilty at a Telok Datok magi­­strate’s court in Banting in Oc­­tober 2010, to disposing evidence related to the murders.

The defence moved to call the DPPs as witnesses because they were involved in the proceeding at the Telok Datok magistrate’s court and tendered the documents in their bid to discredit Suresh and Sara­­wanan.

Four men – N. Pathmanabhan, 43, T. Thilaiyalagan, 21, R. Matan, 22, and R. Kathavarayan, 32 – are accu­sed of murdering Sosilawati, 47, her driver Kamaruddin Shamsuddin, 44, bank officer Noorhisham Mohamad, 38, and lawyer Ahmad Kamil Abdul Karim, 32, at Lot 2001, Jalan Tanjung Layang, Tanjung Sepat, Banting, between 8.30pm and 9.45pm on Aug 30, 2010.

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