TAIPING: The defence closed its case in the high-profile Hasleza Ishak murder trial after 36 days of proceedings, which were filled with stories of evil spirits and dark forces.
High Court Justice Mohd Noor Abdullah, who will hear submissions next week, said he hoped the public would not accuse him of hurrying the progress of the trial.
“I hope they will not say that I am rushing justice. Most cases take two to three years to complete but this case is finished in slightly more than a month.
“I have good intention of wanting the case to end quickly, as I would like to give myself the opportunity to make a good decision,” said the judge yesterday.
He said with the evidence fresh in his memory, he would be able to “piece together the jigsaw puzzle to see the picture.”
He said the case depended on whose version he believed in, as it lacked supporting evidence in several instances.
“The only glaring evidence was the testimony given by the employee of mobile phone operator Maxis.
“The court also has to rely on the demeanour of the witnesses when they testified,” he said.
At the outset of yesterday’s proceedings, the judge allowed an application by counsel Datuk Muhammad Shafee Abdullah for the hearing to be adjourned to today.
Shafee had written to the court to explain that he was busy with another murder trial in Kuala Lumpur. He also undertook to close the defence’s case today.
In the dock were carpenter Sabarudin Non, 34, and fisherman J. Manimaran, 27, who are charged with murdering the Raja di-Hilir Perak’s second wife 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 jointly tried with palace aide Tengku Aristonsjah Tengku Mohamad Ansary, 41, and bomoh Rahim Ismail, 47, who allegedly abetted in the murder of the former model and actress.
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.
Sabarudin and Manimaran are represented by counsel A. Thanasekharan and N. Ahilan, Rahim by Gurbachan Singh and Amrit Pal Singh, and Tengku Aristonsjah by Shafee and M. Kirubanandan.
The DPPs are Nordin Hassan, Shahidani Abdul Aziz, Chew Soo Ho and Masri Mohd Daud.
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