PUTRAJAYA (Bernama): A tow truck operator escaped the hangman's noose after the Court of Appeal here on Wednesday (July 29) set aside his conviction of a death sentence for the murder of a trader.
A three-member bench comprising Justices Datuk Nor Bee Ariffin, Datuk Hadhariah Syed Ismail and Datuk Nordin Hassan in a unanimous decision found that there were merits in B. Ruban's appeal, warranting appellate intervention.
Justice Nor Bee who led the bench said Ruban's conviction for murder was not safe.
"We allow the appeal and set aside the conviction and death sentence," she said.
Ruban, 31, was sentenced to death by the Shah Alam High Court last year after he was found guilty of murdering R. Sathaya Devan, 23, together with another person who is still at large, in front of block A of People's Housing project (PPR) in Taman Beringin, Jinjang Utara, Kepong, Kuala Lumpur on April 12, 2014.
Ruban's lawyer Datuk Rajpal Singh, in his submission, said Ruban was not present when the murder took place but his brother Vickneswaran was present.
He said Ruban only arrived at the tail end of a fight which took place.
Rajpal Singh said it was a case of mistaken identity, adding that the identity of Ruban and Vickneswaran became an issue as the brothers looked alike.
He said the trial judge had insisted that Ruban should have given an alibi notice as defence, adding that such notice need not be given as Ruban only came to the place soon after the incident.
He said there was no identification parade held to allow I. Sathiamoorthy to identify Ruban but the prosecution witness who was a close friend of the deceased only identified him (Ruban) in the dock some three and half years later.
Ruban's other counsel Amer Hamzah Arshad submitted that there was material contradiction in the prosecution's case which could not be reconciled as there was no proper explanation.
Deputy Public Prosecutor Gan Chee Keong appeared for the prosecution.- Bernama
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