SHAH ALAM: An Indonesian security guard was sentenced by a High Court here to death over the murder of Ambank officer Norazita Abdul Talib last year.
La Ode Ardi Rasila, 37, was ordered to be hanged until death for committing robbery and firing a shot from a pump gun with the intention to kill the officer.
Upon hearing the court verdict, La Ode did not show any reaction.
In his judgment on Thursday, High Court judge Justice Akhtar Tahir ruled that the prosecution has proven both charges against the Indonesian beyond reasonable doubt.
In convicting him, Justice Akhtar held that La Ode has wilfully fired the shot against the victim to commit robbery.
Justice Akhtar said he could not believe La Ode's claims that the father of four has no intention with regard to the fatal shooting of the victim.
"It is clear from my observation of the CCTV recording that the accused has pointed the pump gun towards the victim before firing the shot.
"If he just want to pumped his gun to attract the attention of two bank officers who were at the 'vault' room that day (as he claimed in his defence), the accused could have pointed the gun to other directions.
“The accused has wilfully fired the shot and has full knowledge on how to use the gun," he said.
Justice Akhtar said that the conduct of the accused before, during, and after the shooting incident as well as his admission in court showed that there was a plan to rob the bank.
"This is not a robbery case which has occured spontaneously," he said.
He said the accused had also pulled a bank officer out from the vault and filled up cash from the safe and rushed out from the bank.
Besides that, Justice Akhtar said he relied on the expert evidence, who found that the pump gun was properly functioning and could not accept La Ode's testimony that the pump gun was defective.
He said the court could not accept La Ode's defence that the shot was unintentional as he had been working at the bank and was close to the victim.
La Ode had claimed trial in February with committing the offences at an AmBank branch in USJ Sentral, Subang Jaya between 6pm and 6.30pm on Oct 23 last year.
His lawyer S. Selvi, appointed by the Indonesian Embassy, said her client was remorseful over the incident and apologised to the victim's family and other bank officers over the traumatising incident as well as to his former employer whose security firm's licence had been revoked by the government.
"He also did not know that his wife was then pregnant with their fourth child," she added.
Outside court later, Selvi said La Ode was very sad over the verdict and that she would appeal against the court ruling.
Speaking to reporters, Norazita's husband, driver Irwan Kamarudin, 38, said he was satisfied over the court judgment.
Irwan said their two children - a 13-year-old daughter and a nine-year-old son - missed his late wife and had difficulty to accept that their mother had passed away.
"We have been waiting for this judgment. It is justice for her death," he added.
DPP Mohd Azari Harun, assisted by DPP Muhamad Asyraf Md Kamal, had called 24 prosecution witnesses to testify in the case.
Lawyer Ravin Jay Kumar held a watching brief for the bank officer's family.