Hasleza murder trial judgment next week


  • Nation
  • Saturday, 12 Apr 2003

TAIPING: The decision on the Hasleza Ishak murder trial is expected next week. 

High Court Justice Mohd Noor Abdullah said he would hear submissions from counsel from Tuesday. 

“I will deliberate on the arguments and the evidence before me and hand down my judgment a day or two after that (the submissions),” he said. 

He said he wanted to hear submissions as soon as possible because he wanted to make a decision while the evidence was still fresh in his mind. 

“I want to deliver a sound judgment,” he said after the testimony of the last defence witness T. Purusothaman, who is head of customer service at the Ipoh branch of the Bumiputra Commerce Bank. 

On Thursday, he said he hoped the public would not accuse him of rushing justice because of the trial's quick pace.  

He said he wanted the case to end quickly so that he could “piece together the jigsaw puzzle to see the picture” before he forgot what had transpired. 

The judge had said the case depended on whose version he believed in, as it lacked supporting evidence in several instances. 

In the dock were carpenter Sabarudin Non, 34, and fisherman J. Manimaran, 27, charged with committing the murder of the Raja di-Hilir Perak’s second wife Hasleza, 26, between 6pm and 11pm at the 63rd kilometre of Jalan Sumpitan, in the Larut Matang and Selama district here on Oct 6 last year. 

They were 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 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. 

At the start of the trial, the prosecution had provided the court with a list of 108 witnesses, including Raja di-Hilir Perak Raja Jaafar Raja Musa Aziz and Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Mohamad Tajol Rosli Ghazali. 

Although these two were not called, Raja Jaafar’s first wife Raja Nor Mahani Raja Shahar Shah took the stand as a star witness for the defence. 

A total of 55 prosecution witnesses and eight defence witnesses, including the four accused, testified in the 36th day of the trial yesterday. 

Besides the main trial, 10 witnesses also gave evidence during a trial-within-a-trial at the prosecution stage to determine whether Sabarudin’s confession was voluntary. 

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.  

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