SHAH ALAM: The High Court on Thursday sentenced all four accused to death in the murder of cosmetics businesswoman Sosilawati Lawiya and three others in Tanjung Sepat, Banting in 2010.
"The prosecution has proven its case beyond a reasonable doubt," said Justice Akhtar Tahir.
"I find all four accused guilty as charged," he said.
Justice Akhtar was delivering his verdict in the high profile case since taking charge of the trial on July 4, 2011.
His court room was packed with families of the accused persons and victims, media and lawyers.
A total of 108 prosecution and 30 defence witnesses took the stand and 742 exhibits were tendered.
Sosilawati, 47, her driver Kamaruddin Shamsuddin, 44, bank officer Noorhisham Mohamad, 38, and lawyer Ahmad Kamil Abdul Karim, 32, were reported missing after they went to Banting for a land deal. Their disappearance made headlines nationwide.
Former lawyer N. Pathmanabhan, 43, and farm hands T. Thilaiyalagan, 21, R. Matan, 22 and R. Kathavarayan, 33, are accused of murdering Sosilawati and her aides at Lot 2001, Jalan Tanjung Layang, Tanjung Sepat, Banting, between 8.30pm and 9.45pm on Aug 30, 2010.
CHRONOLOGY OF EVENTS IN SOSILAWATI'S MURDER CASE
Aug 30, 2010: Sosilawati, together with Noorhisham, Ahmad Kamil and Kamaruddin were reported missing after going to Banting for a land deal.
Sept 6, 2010: A black BMW X5 car, with registration WTL 11, used by Sosilawati on the day she was reported missing, was found at the car park of Flat Angsana, Pangsapuri USJ, Subang Jaya, while a black BMW car, with registration number AAJ 5 belonging to Ahmad Kamil was found in an area in front of a double-storey terrace housing project near the Grand Dorsett Hotel, Subang Jaya.
Sept 9, 2010: Five suspects were detained at a farm in Banting.
Sept 11, 2010: A lawyer, with a 'Datuk' title, and his younger sibling, also a lawyer, were detained to assist investigations.
Sept 12, 2010: Bukit Aman (Federal Police) Criminal Investigation Department (CID) Director Datuk Seri Mohd Bakri Zinin confirmed the four victims were brutally killed and then burnt at a farm, while their ashes were strewn in a river nearby.
Oct 13, 2010: Pathmanabhan, together with Thilaiyalagan, Matan and Kathavarayan were charged in the Telok Datok Magistrate's Court , Banting , with the murder of Sosilawati, Noorhisham, Ahmad Kamil and Kamaruddin.
Oct 15, 2010: The Telok Datok Magistrate's Court sentenced U.Suresh and K.Sarawanan to seven years' jail after they pleaded guilty to disposing evidence in the murder case.
Feb 21, 2011: The Shah Alam High Court amended the seven years' jail handed down on Suresh and Sarawanan for disposing evidence in the murder case to 20 years. July 4, 2011: The hearing of the murder case began at the Shah Alam High Court.
Nov 3, 2011: Foresnsic expert from Kuala Lumpur Hospital(HKL), Dr Nurliza Abdullah, testitified that 2,030 of the 2,040 specimens found in the river and farm in Banting, claimed to be the locations of the murder, could possibily be that of human bones and teeth. She also said the bones showed traces of them being burnt or exposed to very high temperature, of at least 800 degree Celcius.
Nov 10, 2011: Dr Norhayati Jaffar, also from the Medical Forensic department of HKL, confirmed that seven of the 10 tooth samples found in Sungai Panchau and at Ladang Gadong, said to be the location where the four victims were murdered, were human teeth.
Jan 31, 2012: Director of Forensic Division, Chemistry Department, Lim Kong Boon, confirmed that the DNA profile of Noorhisham was obtained from the blood stain on a cricket bat. She also confirmed that the DNA profiles of Kamaruddin and Ahmad were obtained from blood stains on zinc sheets found in the Sungai Arak oil palm plantation in Banting.
April 30, 2012: Judge Akhtar ordered Pathmanabhan, Thilaiyalagan, Matan and Kathavarayan to enter their defence on a charge of murdering Sosilawati, Noorhisham, Ahmad Kamil and Kamaruddin after finding that the prosecution had succeeded in establishing a prima facie case.
May 23, 2013: Judge Akhtar sentenced to death the four accused after finding them guilty of murdering Sosilawati, Noorhisham, Ahmad Kamil and Kamaruddin. - Bernama
Banting murders: Thilaiyalagan never met Sosilawati and friends
Banting murders: Evidence given by 4 accused unreliable, says DPP
Banting murders: No homicidal death involving Sosilawati and three others, says lawyer
Banting murders: Defence closes case, judgment on May 23
Banting murders trial: Lawyer did not know client would plead guilty
Banting murders: There was no conspiracy, police tell court in Sosilawati case
Banting murders: Conflicting testimony about presence of accused at court complex
Banting murders: Witness says he did not sign up for witness protection programme for money
Banting murders: Accused denies murdering Sosilawati
Banting murders trial: Accused saw Sosilawati nine days after murder