Friday decision on Hasleza murder trial

  • Nation
  • Saturday, 19 Apr 2003


TAIPING: The murder trial of the Raja di-Hilir Perak’s second wife, Hasleza Ishak, ended yesterday after 40 days of hearing, but the accused will only know their fate next Friday. 

High Court judge Justice Mohd Noor Abdullah set the date after four days of closing submissions by the prosecution and the defence. 

“Perhaps it’s better that I deliver a detailed judgment, in which case I will require time,” he said. 

On trial are carpenter Sabarudin Non, 34, fisherman J. Manimaran, 27, bomoh Rahim Ismail, 47, and palace aide Tengku Aristonsjah Tengku Mohamad Ansary, 41. Sabarudin and Manimaran are charged with murdering Hasleza, 26, between 6pm and 11pm at KM63 Jalan Sumpitan, Larut Matang and Selama district, here on Oct 6 last year. 

Tengku Aristonsjah and Rahim are accused of abetting in the murder of the former model and actress. 

If convicted, all four would be sent to the gallows as murder and abetment carry a mandatory death sentence upon conviction.  

They were originally charged with padi farmer Mat Saad Isa, 50, who on Jan 28 pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of manslaughter.  

He was given a 14-year jail sentence and turned prosecution witness.  

Yesterday, the court heard submissions by Tengku Aristonsjah’s counsel, Datuk Muhammad Shafee Abdullah, who attacked Mat Saad’s credibility. 

He described Mat Saad as “cruel” and “an animal” who had no qualms about lying in court in order to save his own skin. 

He said Mat Saad was consistently adapting and adopting other witnesses’ testimonies and using them to embellish his own stories when he later took the stand. 

Shafee said Mat Saad was always thinking of diluting his role and implicating the others. 

“He is right-handed, yet he claimed that he had used his left hand to chop Hasleza on the neck.  

“He attempted to tell this court that he did not hit her that hard, indicating that he was not responsible for her death. It is he, and he alone, who caused Hasleza's death.  

“He knew that her death was caused by the blow but he twisted the story by saying that she had collapsed after she was suffocated by him, Sabarudin and Manimaran,” he said. 

A total of 55 prosecution witnesses and eight defence witnesses, including the four accused, had testified at the trial.  

Ten other witnesses gave evidence during a trial-within-a-trial at the prosecution’s stage to determine the voluntarism of Sabarudin’s confession. 

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 were Nordin Hassan, Shahidani Abdul Aziz, Chew Soo Ho and Masri Mohd Daud.  

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