Defence gets education in forensics at Morais’ trial

  • Nation
  • Saturday, 09 Apr 2016

KUALA LUMPUR: It was an education in forensics for the defence in the murder trial of Deputy Public Prosecutor Datuk Anthony Kevin Morais as a DNA analyst provided lengthy lessons during cross examination.

Witness number nine, Nor Aidora Saedon, 43, was fielding queries yesterday over the evidence she had tendered the day before and explaining the results of her preliminary reports on the DNA findings.

During cross examination, defence counsel V. Rajehgopal attempted to question the legitimacy of DNA testing, asking if its results were absolute or merely ancillary.

“I don’t agree; it’s 99.9% accurate,” said Nor Aidora, noticeably raising her voice. After repeated questioning, she agreed that 99.9% meant it was not 100% accurate.

Entertaining Rajehgopal’s questions about the workings of DNA analysis, Nor Aidora gave technical explanations on lab theory, the difference between secondary transfer and tertiary transfer, and at some point even blurting out that “murdering someone isn’t that easy”.

A cautious witness, she had the counsel rephrase or further explain his question several times, and also corrected attempts at summarising her statements.

She was seen barely holding in laughter when given a particularly colourful example by the counsel, while her sharp replies drew chuckles from the public gallery.

A veteran in her field, Nor Aidora had worked on many high profile cases including Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s second sodomy trial, Indonesian maid Nirmala Bonat’s abuse lawsuit and the murder trial of French tourist Stephanie Foray.

One of the pieces of evidence she tendered – a bloodstained wire with two DNA samples – was revealed to have DNA from Morais and from an unidentified person labelled “Male One”.

However, she was unable to find a match between Male One and 11 DNA samples taken from the seven accused plus three other suspects in the case.

“The sample cannot match conclusively with the other 11. It’s not very good, not strong; that’s why I didn’t say it matches in my report,” she said on the third day of trial before the High Court.

On Jan 27, the six men – G. Gunasekaran, 48; R. Dinishwaran, 24; A. K. Thinesh Kumar, 23; M. Vishwanath, 26; Nimalan, 23; and Ravi Chandaran, 35 – claimed trial to charges of murdering Morais.

They are accused of committing the offence between 7am and 8pm on Sept 4, 2015, between Jalan Dutamas Raya Sentul and No. 1 Jalan USJ1/6D, Subang Jaya.

Army pathologist Colonel Dr R. Kunaseegaran, 53, pleaded not guilty to abetting the six in the murder.

They face the mandatory death penalty if convicted, under Section 302 of the Penal Code.

Counsel Datuk N.Sivananthan and Datuk Geethan Ram Vincent acted for Kunaseegaran, while Rajehgopal defended Gunasekaran, Vishwanath, Nimalan and Ravi Chandaran. Counsel M. Manoharan acted for Dinishwaran and Thinesh Kumar.

Justice Azman Abdullah fixed April 12 to continue trial.

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Courts & Crime , kevin morais , trial


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