TAIPING: A witness in the murder trial of Hasleza Ishak, the second wife of the Raja di-Hilir Perak, told a High Court that he saw a man dragging a woman out of her car and forcing her into another car at Taman Pinji Perdana in Ipoh.
Norli Shamsul Badaridin, 31, a general worker with the Kinta Health Department, testified yesterday that he saw a muscular man smash the window on the driver’s side of the woman’s Honda Civic to open the door.
“He pulled the woman out and dragged her to a Proton Saga, which was blocking her car. She told him to release her but he slapped her and pushed her into the back seat of the car and got in after her,” he said.
Norli said he followed behind in his car. The Proton Saga went slowly at first until it passed the Taman Pinji Perdana guardhouse. The car then accelerated onto the main road heading towards Lahat.
“I tailed the car for some distance until I reached a petrol station in Taman Desa Ahmad, where I could no longer keep up. On the way, I called the police on my handphone to tell them that there was a robbery involving a Proton Saga bearing the number plate ABW 4001,” he added.
Norli said he only saw the man’s side profile and added that the man was wearing a cap. He said he saw the woman’s face but would not be able to identify her even if he was now shown her photograph.
He also said he did not notice how many people there were in the car apart from the man, woman and driver.
He was testifying at the trial of padi planter Mat Saad Mat Isa, 50, carpenter Sabarudin Non, 34, and fisherman J. Manimaran, 27, all from Tanjung Piandang, who are charged with murdering Hasleza, 26, between at the 63rd kilometre of Jalan Sumpitan in the Larut Matang and Selama district here on Oct 6.
Two others, bomoh Rahim Ismail, 47, from Tanjung Piandang, and palace aide Tengku Aristonsjah Tengku Mohamad Ansary, 41, from Kamunting, are being jointly tried for abetting the murder.
Two other witnesses who testified yesterday were Universiti Teknologi Petronas lecturer Azizan Zainal Abidin and petrol kiosk attendant Fatimah Mohd Said.
Azizan said she was tending to her garden when a loud noise caught her attention.
“When I looked out of my garden, I saw three men dragging a petite woman out of her car and then trying to shove her into the back seat of their car.
“All the men were wearing caps, dark clothing and dark glasses,” she said.
Fatimah told the court that three men and a woman came in a car to the kiosk which she was working. She said that the woman was sandwiched by the two men at the back seat of the car.
“She looked as if she was fast asleep. She was leaning towards one of the men in the back of the car.
“I can only identify that man as the first accused (Mat Saad). The other two, I don't know how they looked like,” she said.
Earlier, Chief Inspector Chan Teck Paing testified that he recorded a statement from Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Mohd Tajol Rosli Ghazali on Oct 29 and received from the latter two envelopes containing three photographs and copies of documents, which had the details of Hasleza’s marriage to the Raja di-Hilir Perak.
Four police photographers also testified that they took pictures of the victim, the place of the alleged incident and various exhibits. A total of 131 photographs were tendered.
Mat Saad is represented by counsel Manjit Singh Bhatt; Sabarudin and Manimaran by A. Thanasekharan and N. Ahilan; Rahim by Gurbachan Singh and Amrik Pal Singh; and Tengku Aristonsjah by Datuk Muhammad Shafee Abdullah and Kiru Banandan.
The deputy public prosecutors are Nordin Hassan, Mazri Daud, Shahidani Abdul Aziz and Chew Soo Ho while counsel Joseph Sebastian and S. Ravichandran are holding a watching brief for Hasleza’s family.
In his opening statement, DPP Nordin said the prosecution would adduce evidence to prove beyond reasonable doubt that Mat Saad, Sabarudin and Manimaran had murdered Hasleza.
He said the prosecution would produce oral and documented evidence that all three had admitted committing the murder, and that one of them had given information which led to the recovery of Hasleza’s body at the 13th kilometre from Simpang Ijok, Kampung Sumpitan, on Oct 11.
He also said the pathologist would confirm that Hasleza’s death was caused by “pressure on the neck”.
In the case against Rahim and Tengku Aristonsjah, Nordin said the prosecution would adduce evidence that the murder was committed following their directive and with their assistance, and that the two had paid a fee for the murder to be carried out.
He also provided the court with the full list of prosecution witnesses, comprising 108 names.
At 12.55pm, Justice Mohd Noor Abdullah adjourned the packed courtroom to the parking lot within the courthouse premises for Norli to identify the Proton Saga.
The hearing will continue today.