Accused: I confessed in tears


  • Nation
  • Thursday, 27 Feb 2003

BY CHELSEA L.Y. NG and PRISCILLA DIELENBERG

TAIPING: Carpenter Sabarudin Non was so homesick that he cried for several days under police interrogation until he confessed to the murder of Hasleza Ishak, the High Court heard yesterday. 

Sabarudin, 34, who testified in his own defence at a trial-within-a-trial to determine the voluntariness of his confession, said he missed his wife and five children. 

“The policemen who interrogated me kept asking what my children were eating each day I was away from home, and how they were coping without me. 

Sabarudin at the Taiping High Court yesterday. He began testifying in his own defence on Wednesday.

“I cried whenever I thought of my children and wondered who was looking after them while I was being detained,” he said, adding that he also cried for the same reason when confessing before a magistrate last Oct 16. 

The magistrate had earlier testified that he believed Sabarudin had cried because he was remorseful. 

Sabarudin said he was worried that he would not get a lenient sentence that would ensure him a ticket home soon. 

At one point, when Sabarudin was recounting how much he missed his wife, he glanced at her in the public gallery and they smiled at each other. 

Sabarudin is jointly charged with fisherman J. Manimaran, 27, with the murder of Hasleza, 26, between 6pm and 11pm at the 63rd kilometre, Jalan Sumpitan, in the Larut Matang and Selama district here on Oct 6 last year. 

They are being jointly tried with bomoh Rahim Ismail, 47, from Tanjung Piandang, and palace aide Tengku Aristonsjah Tengku Mohamad Ansary, 41, from Kamunting, who are charged with abetting the murder. 

Murder and its abetment carry a mandatory death sentence upon conviction. 

All four were originally on trial together with padi farmer Mat Saad Isa, 50, who has since admitted to a reduced charge of causing Hasleza’s death and is now serving a 14-year jail term for the offence. He has since turned prosecution witness. 

Sabarudin also claimed his interrogators had poked and knocked hard on a soft lump on his forehead, causing him prolonged and excruciating pain. 

“They did this to me three to four times a day. It was unbearable and made me cry. There was throbbing pain and my head felt as though it was going to crack,” he said. 

Sabarudin added he was given a set of smelly clothing by police who had taken away all his own clothes. 

“I was sleeping on the cement floor in the lock-up. In my cell, there was a water pipe but there was no soap to bathe with,” he said. 

Justice Mohd Noor Abdullah will hear closing submissions from both parties in the trial-within-a-trial today. 

The DPPs are Nordin Hassan, Shahidani Abdul Aziz, Chew Soo Ho and Masri Mohd Daud. 

Sabarudin and Manimaran are represented by counsel A. Thanasekharan and N. Ahilan, Rahim by Gurbachan Singh and Amrit Pal Singh, and Tengku Aristonsjah by Datuk Muhammad Shafee Abdullah and M. Kirubanandan. 

Earlier reports


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