TAIPING: The Hasleza Ishak trial proceeded at the High Court yesterday with only a handful of people watching, in stark contrast with the previous day when star witness Raja Puan Muda of Perak Raja Nor Mahani Raja Shahar Shah testified.
Raja Nor Mahani’s nephew, Tengku Aristonsjah Tengku Mohamad Ansary, continued with his evidence under cross-examination.
On Tuesday, the gallery was filled to the brim with outsiders, members of the royalty and relatives of the four accused persons on news that Raja Nor Mahani would take the stand to testify for Tengku Aristonsjah.
Palace aide Tengku Aristonsjah, 41, is jointly charged with bomoh Rahim Ismail, 47, with abetting in the murder of the 26-year-old former model and actress.
They are being tried with carpenter Sabarudin Non, 34, and fisherman J. Manimaran, 27, who are charged with committing the murder between 6pm and 11pm at the 63rd kilometre, Jalan Sumpitan, in the Larut Matang and Selama district here on Oct 6, last year.
All four were originally charged with padi farmer Mat Saad Isa, 50, who had since pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of culpable homicide not amounting to murder.
He had since been jailed 14 years and turned prosecution witness against the others.
The hearing before Justice Mohd Noor Abdullah will enter its 35th day today.
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.
The DPPs are Nordin Hassan, Shahidani Abdul Aziz, Chew Soo Ho and Masri Mohd Daud.