KUALA LUMPUR: Six men, including pathologist Kol Dr R. Kunaseegaran and five others have been sentenced to the gallows after the High Court here found them guilty of the 2015 murder of Deputy Public Prosecutor Datuk Anthony Kevin Morais.
Justice Azman Abdullah, in his decision, said the defence had failed to raise reasonable doubt in their case.
"The accused persons are therefore found guilty and sentenced to death," he said here on Friday (July 9).
Dr Kunaseegaran, 57; R. Dinishwaran, 28; AK Thinesh Kumar, 27; M. Vishwanath, 30; S. Nimalan, 27; and S. Ravi Chandaran, 49, were accused of murdering Morais somewhere along Jalan Dutamas Raya Sentul and No. 1, Jalan USJ 1/6D, Subang Jaya, at between 7am and 8pm on Sept 4, 2015.
They were charged under Section 302 of the Penal Code, read together with Section 34 of the same law, which prescribes the mandatory death sentence on conviction.
Dr Kunaseegaran was initially charged with abetting the five men in committing the offence at the same place, date and time, but the charge was amended on May 15, 2017, to having a common intention with the five men in the murder of Morais.
Deputy Public Prosecutor Saiful Edris told the court that the victim's next-of-kin was prepared to read a victim impact statement (VIS).
However the judge said it would not be necessary.
"There is only one sentence," Justice Azman said, referring to the punishment ascribed under the law for Section 302 of the Penal Code.
Morais' brother Datuk Richard Morais, who was present at the public gallery, appeared relieved after the decision was delivered.
"I have waited a long time to seek justice for my brother," he told the press after proceedings ended.
Lawyers Datuk N. Sivananthan, Jay Moy Wei Jiun and Dhanyaa Shreeya Sukumar represented Dr Kunaseegaran.
Meanwhile, lawyers Datuk Sheelan Arjunan and R. Ryshinah represented the other five men.
Deputy Public Prosecutors Wan Shaharuddin Wan Ladin and Shafiq Mahadi also appeared for the prosecution.
On Sept 4, 2015, Morais went missing after he was kidnapped by several men following a fender bender along Jalan Dutamas Raya Sentul to No. 1 Jalan USJ1/6D, Subang Jaya.
Closed circuit TV footage showed that Morais was grabbed by several men after he came out of his car to inspect the damage.
The following day, his youngest brother Richard lodged a missing person’s report after Morais did not report for work and was unreachable.
Several days later, the police found a burnt-out Proton Perdana, with its chasis and engine numbers erased in a plantation near Hutan Melintang in Perak.
On Sept 16, 2015, Morais' body was found in a drum filled with cement in Subang Jaya, Selangor after a suspect brought the police to the location at Taman Perumahan USJ 1, Persiaran Subang Mewah.
Crime Prevention Board chairman Datuk Abdul Razak Musa, who was Morais' superior at one point, said a group of judiciary officers from the court and the Attorney General's Chambers, came to show their support for the late Morais and express concern over their safety at work.
"Most of the officers here have experience working with him (Morais).
"They really appreciate the court's decision. Now we have to think of the safety of prosecutors in the future," he said.