Noritta case hearing set for Thursday


  • Nation
  • Saturday, 01 May 2004

BY CHELSEA L.Y. NG

KUALA LUMPUR: The murder case of 22-year-old accounts executive Noritta Samsuddin has been transferred to another High Court and hearing is set for Thursday instead of Wednesday as allotted earlier. 

Justice Abdull Hamid Embong, who took over the hearing of the trial from Justice Abdul Kadir Musa, began hearing an application yesterday by lawyers of Hanif Basree Abdul Rahman, an engineer with the Shah Alam City Council, for a set of incriminating DNA report to be made available to the defence. 

The judge dismissed the application saying that the DNA report was not confined to analysis and profiling of specimens taken from Hanif. 

“While the court has the discretion to order that certain documents crucial to the preparation of the accused’s defence be made available to him, the prosecution had indicated that the report sought in this case was related mainly to exhibits collected from the crime scene. 

“I agree with the DPP (Stanley Augustin) that the prosecution was not obliged to hand over such evidence to the defence,” said Justice Abdull Hamid. 

He said the court could not pre-empt the production of evidence in the case. 

“This court and the defence do not know the content of the DNA report and the source from which the profiles had been obtained. 

“If the prosecution says that the sources are the exhibits then we have to leave it at that, at the moment. We are not to speculate the evidence to be adduced,” Justice Abdull Hamid said before dismissing the application. 

Earlier, the judge heard submissions by Augustin and lead defence counsel V. Sithambaram. 

Augustin argued that the prosecution was not obliged to hand over the report to the defence. 

“Specific items taken from the crime scene have the DNA profile of the accused, so there might be a high likelihood of tampering of witnesses if the report was furnished to the defence. 

“It concerns evidence of the prosecution’s case. It’s privileged information. More so in this case, the defence has put up an alibi,” said Augustin. 

Sithambaram said the accused needed to know the case against him as he suspected that the entire prosecution’s case would be hinged on the DNA evidence. 

“Without the DNA report, we cannot prepare the defence,” he said. 

On Dec 26, Hanif, 36, was charged before Justice Abdul Kadir. Noting that the case involved a public servant, Justice Abdul Kadir had set the case for trial from May 5 to 28, the earliest dates available in that court.  

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