KUALA LUMPUR: An unemployed man, who faces a charge of murder for his alleged involvement in the killing of former DPP Datuk Anthony Kevin Morais (pic), has appointed a new counsel to represent him.
The accused G. Gunasekaran, 48, has engaged counsel Ramesh Sivakumar to replace counsel V. Rajehgopal, who had withdrawn himself during the last proceedings on June 29.
High Court deputy registrar Noor Aini Yusof was informed of the matter during case management on Monday.
Deputy Public Prosecutor Datuk Abdul Razak Musa later informed reporters that the prosecution would provide documents to Ramesh to assist him in the trial next month.
He said the trial dates fixed for Aug 15, 17, 18 and 19 earlier have been retained.
On June 29, Rajehgopal told High Court judge Justice Azman Abdullah that he would withdraw himself on the grounds that there was a conflict of interest.
During the proceedings, Gunasekaran was also offered an alternative charge to the existing principal charge of murder.
However, he pleaded not guilty to having hid the body and burnt the vehicle to protect five other accused – R. Dinishwaran, 24, A.K. Thinesh Kumar, 26, M. Vishwanath, 26, S. Nimalan, 23, and S. Ravi Chandaran, 45 – from being punished.
The offence was allegedly committed in Jalan Dutamas 1 and an oil palm plantation at Kampung Sungai Samak in Hutan Melintang, Perak, in September last year.
The alternative charge under Section 201 of the Penal Code provides for a jail term of up to seven years and a fine upon conviction.
On March 28, Nimalan and Thinesh Kumar also claimed trial to alternative charges of helping to hide the body and causing Morais’ death respectively.
All six accused still face principal charges for the murder.
Army pathologist Kol Dr R. Kunaseegaran, 53, is charged with abetting the six in the murder.