TAIPING: The High Court has fixed next week to hear submissions in the Hasleza Ishak murder trial after being informed by the prosecution that it was closing its case following the testimonies of 55 witnesses.
DPP Nordin Hassan said at the end of the 21st day of the trial that investigating officer Deputy Supt Sulong Affandi Mohd Hashim was the prosecutions final witness.
Justice Mohd Noor Abdullah fixed March 17 for DSP Sulongs cross-examination by two defence counsel, who were not present at yesterdays hearing.
The judge also ordered that submissions proceed immediately after the re-examination.
The court had earlier excused counsel Gurbachan Singh, who had a matter at the Court of Appeal, and Datuk Muhammad Shafee Abdullah, who had a part-heard case at a Kuala Lumpur High Court. Both lawyers reserved cross-examination of DSP Sulong.
In the dock were carpenter Sabarudin Non, 34, fisherman J. Manimaran, 27, bomoh Rahim Ismail, 47, all from Tanjung Piandang, and palace aide Tengku Aristonsjah Tengku Mohamad Ansary, 41, from Kamunting.
Sabarudin and Manimaran are jointly charged with murdering Hasleza, 26, who is the second wife of the Raja di-Hilir Perak, between 6pm and 11pm at the 63rd kilometre, Jalan Sumpitan, in the Larut Matang and Selama district here on Oct 6 last year.
Rahim and Tengku Aristonsjah are being jointly tried for abetment.
All four were originally on trial together with padi farmer Mat Saad Isa, 50, who had since admitted to a reduced charge of causing Haslezas death and is now serving a 14-year jail term for the offence. He has since turned prosecution witness.
At the start of the trial, the prosecution provided the court with a list of 108 witnesses.
Yesterday, DSP Sulong identified 43 envelopes, which he received from the Chemistry Department in Petaling Jaya on Dec 26. Among the contents were Haslezas clothes and specimen samples of her hair, blood and internal organs.
Besides Nordin, the other DPPs are Masri Mohd Daud, Shahidani Abdul Aziz and Chew Soo Ho.
Sabarudin and Manimaran are represented by Thanasekharan and N. Ahilan, Rahim by Gurbachan Singh and Amrit Pal Singh, and Tengku Aristonsjah by Muhammad Shafee and M. Kirubanandan.