Glaring inconsistencies, court told


  • Nation
  • Thursday, 12 Jun 2003

BY CHARANJEET KAUR

KUALA LUMPUR: There are glaring discrepancies and inconsistencies between Datuk Balwant Singh's police statement recorded after the shooting of a despatch rider in Bangsar last June and his evidence adduced in court of the incident, the prosecution submitted at the High Court yesterday. 

In his submission at the end of Balwant Singh's defence case, Deputy Public Prosecutor Zauyah Be Loth Khan said since there were discrepancies between the two, the police statement can now be used to prove that the accused had lied in court and that he was not a credible witness. 

The police statement stated that Balwant Singh believed that he had accidentally pulled the trigger which caused a shot while in his evidence, he said he fired in the direction of R. Gobala Krishnan's shoulder without aiming. 

“If one is accidental and one is intentional, how can it be said they are similar. The two are dissimilar as “chalk and cheese”.  

“The accused is by no means a fool, he is a prominent and experienced lawyer.” 

DPP Zauyah said the police statement and testimony could not be reconciled. 

She was submitting in the trial against Balwant Singh who had pleaded not guilty at the High Court to a charge of murdering Gobala, 33, at Jalan Maarof, Bangsar at 4.30pm on June 7. 

He was charged on Aug 7, last year under Section 302 of the Penal Code, which carries the mandatory death penalty upon conviction.  

On March 19, Balwant Singh was ordered to enter his defence after Justice S. Augustine Paul found that the prosecution had established a prima facie case against him. 

He then gave his evidence under oath on March 21, claiming that he had shot Gobala in self-defence because the man had repeatedly attacked him with a stick. 

DPP Zauyah added that the defence could be forgiven if it was a mere omission but here it was not but a material discrepancy which goes to the root of their defence.  

“The prosecution cannot be faulted for not cross-examining the accused on these inconsistencies as they were plain obvious and very much apparent.'' 

The court has fixed July 18 for Balwant Singh's defence counsel Datuk Muhammad Shafee Abdullah to submit on the two issues raised.  

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