PUTRAJAYA: The Federal Court upheld the death sentence on a van driver for the murder of a waitress on Christmas Day in 2006.
A five-member panel chaired by Court of Appeal president Justice Md Raus Sharif also affirmed a High Court decision to sentence K. Kartigeyan to 20 years’ jail and 15 strokes of the rotan on a second charge of raping the woman.
In unanimously dismissing Kartigeyan’s final appeal, Justice Md Raus said there was no reason for the court to disturb the findings of the High Court and Court of Appeal.
On Jan 15, 2010, Kartigeyan, 26, was found guilty and sentenced to death by the High Court in Johor Baru for killing Choo Meng Luh, 21, at the Hock Lam oil palm estate in Gelang Patah between 1.30am and 8.15am on Dec 25, 2006.
He was also convicted for committing rape at the same place and time.
The Court of Appeal had on March 20, 2012, dismissed Kartigeyan’s appeal against his conviction, death sentence, jail term and the rotan.
According to the facts of the case, Kartigeyan was the driver of a van ferrying workers of a fast-food outlet in Singapore.
A co-worker gave evidence that on that night, Choo was the last person in the van en route to her home in Johor.
Her body was found at the oil palm estate by a group of friends who were on their way to go fishing at a pond at about 8am on Dec 25, 2006.
A forensic pathologist confirmed that Choo suffered multiple injuries on the face, head, chest, abdomen, limbs and genitalia, and that the cause of death was head injury due to blunt trauma.
A chemist also found traces of semen belonging to Kartigeyan in the deceased’s private part and her panties.
At the close of the prosecution’s case, the High Court ordered Kartigeyan to enter his defence.
However, he chose to remain silent and the High Court subsequently convicted him.
Kartigeyan was represented by Tina Ong while DPP Saiful Edris Zainuddin prosecuted. — Bernama