KUALA LUMPUR: The High Court has convicted six men, including an army pathologist, for the murder of Deputy Public Prosecutor (DPP) Datuk Anthony Kevin Morais, who was found dead in a gruesome manner almost five years ago.
In his decision, Justice Azman Abdullah said the defence of Kol Dr R. Kunaseegaran, 57, and five other men had failed to raise reasonable doubt in their case.
The five are R. Dinishwaran, 28; A.K. Thinesh Kumar, 27; M. Vishwanath, 30; S. Nimalan, 27; and S. Ravi Chandaran, 49.
Justice Azman said the deceased’s DNA was on a pair of gloves that was found in a Mitsubishi Triton driven by the sixth accused (Nimalan).
As the DNA could be transferred by touch, the deceased’s DNA was also found on Ravi Chandaran’s black T-shirt, the judge said.
CCTV footage showed a group of men in a Triton stopping at a restaurant in Petaling Jaya at 5.30am on Sept 3, 2015.
“The 54th prosecution witness (second accused G. Gunasekaran who later became a prosecution witness) in his testimony said he joined the group for breakfast, after which, they made a move for the deceased’s condo,” he said.
The judge also said Gunasekaran’s testimony that he and another accused (Ravi Chandaran) had poured petrol and burned the deceased’s car was not refuted by the defence.
Ravi Chandaran’s testimony also revealed the true nature of the case when he said that Dr Kunaseegaran was involved in the deceased’s disappearance.
The court also found common intention between the men to kill the victim.
“The accused persons are therefore found guilty and sentenced to death,” he said here yesterday.
The men were accused of murdering Morais somewhere along Jalan Dutamas Raya Sentul and 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, and face the mandatory death sentence if convicted.
Dr Kunaseegaran was initially charged with abetting the five men in committing the offence at the same place, date and time, but on May 15, 2017, the charge was amended to having a common intention with the five men in the murder of Morais.
DPP Saiful Edris Zainuddin 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 mandatory death penalty 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 said after the proceedings ended.
Lawyers Datuk N. Sivananthan, Jay Moy Wei Jiun and Dhanyaa Shreeya Sukumar represented Dr Kunaseegaran while Datuk Sheelan Arjunan and R. Ryshinah represented the other five men.
DPP 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 Jalan USJ1/6D, Subang Jaya.
CCTV footage showed that Morais was grabbed by several men after he came out of his car to inspect the damage.
The following day, his eldest 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 chassis 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 one of the seven suspects brought the police to the location at Taman Perumahan USJ 1, Persiaran Subang Mewah.