SHAH ALAM: An accused in the murder trial of cosmetics millionaire Datuk Sosilawati Lawiya and her three aides told a High Court here that three men - allegedly murdered and burnt at a farm - could not be left to alive as they would have killed his former employer N. Pathmanabhan.
Farm hand R. Kathavarayan, 32, said this Wednesday when asked by deputy public prosecutor Ishak Mohd Yusoff if he knew the reason behind the alleged murders.
(The accused had earlier testified that he saw three men lying on the ground at the farm on Aug 31, 2010. He recognised two of them as Sosilawati's driver and a lawyer. He did not recognise the third man.)
"Pathmanabhan told me, 'If I let them live, they will kill me' (Jika saya biarkan mereka, mereka akan bunuh saya). Then he said I would not understand," said the accused.
Kathavarayan also agreed to suggestion that the men were burned "because they were killed".
Describing his relationship with Pathmanabhan, the accused said he respected his former employer but was scared of him as well.
Ishak: Why are you scared of him?
Kathavarayan: I know what he will do if he gets angry.
Among the things Pathmanabhan would get riled up about, according to Kathavarayan, were food and if he was disobeyed or lied to.
"I have seen him scolding a traffic policeman," said the accused.
To another question, Kathavarayan said he gave a pair of cloth gloves to Pathmanabhan after the latter requested for it.
He said Pathmanabhan wore the gloves when he drove out of the farm in a BMW (licence plate AAJ 5) on Aug 30, 2010.
Ishak: I put it to you, he wore the gloves to avoid leaving his fingerprints?
Kathavarayan: I agree.
It was testified in an earlier proceeding that the BMW with licence plate AAJ 5 belonged to Sosilawati's lawyer Ahmad Kamil Abdul Karim.
Pathmanabhan, T. Thilaiyalagan, R. Matan and Kathavarayan are charged with the murders of Sosilawati, 47, her driver Kamaruddin Shamsuddin, 44, bank officer Noorhisham Mohamad, 38, and Ahmad Kamil, 32, at Lot 2001, Jalan Tanjung Layang, Tanjung Sepat, Banting, at between 8.30pm and 9.45pm on Aug 30, 2010.
The hearing continues before Justice Akhtar Tahir on Friday.