Hearsay DNA evidence given in Sosilawati case, court told

PUTRAJAYA: The prosecution in the murder case of cosmetics millionaire Datuk Sosilawati Lawiya and her three aides had only presented hearsay DNA evidence, the Federal Court heard.

Lawyer Manjit Singh Dhillon argued that the prosecution had during the trial called chemist Lim Kong Boon who did a report on the findings of the DNA evidence in the case.

Lim, however, was not the person who conducted the DNA tests.

“It was unchallenged evidence that the witness (Lim) did not conduct any DNA tests himself. He left it to the officers in his department, which he admitted in cross-examination.

“None of these officers testified. There was, as such, no direct, first-hand evidence of what tests were conducted by these officers, when and how and what protocols were observed,” Manjit Singh said during submissions in an appeal before a five-man panel at the Federal Court yesterday.

Lim has appeared as witness to testify against former lawyer N. Pathmanabhan, 46, and farm hands T. Thilaiyalagan, 24, R. Matan, 25, and R. Kathavarayan, 36.

The appeal yesterday was filed by Pathma­nabhan, Thilaiyalagan, Matan and Kathava­rayan. Manjit Singh was representing Pathma­nabhan.

The Federal Court heard that at least four other officers from the Chemistry Department had conducted the tests.

Lim had during the trial testified that the DNA traces of bank officer Noorhisham Mohamad was found on a cricket bat while the traces of DNA of Sosilawati’s driver Kamaruddin Shamsuddin and lawyer Ahmad Kamil Abdul Karim were found on zinc sheets.

Manjit Singh argued that Lim was only given the results from the tests, which he later incorporated in his report and testified in court.

“He was in no position to confirm any of the findings since he did not do the testing himself. That was, thus, clearly hearsay evidence.

“To supervise and instruct is not tantamount to stating that those supervised or instructed adhered to strict controls and regimes necessary in DNA testing, more so when life and death hinge on the result,” Manjit Singh added.

In December last year, the Court of Appeal upheld the conviction of the four men who were found guilty of the murders of Sosilawati and her three aides.

The four men are appealing against the Court of Appeal’s decision. This is their last legal avenue. The appeal hearing continues today.

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