KULAI: Five former businessmen were released on bail by the Magistrate’s Court here after being remanded for almost a year in the case of a car reposessor whose body was found on the North-South Expressway last year.
The accused - Choo Zhi Jie, 18, Kong King Xiang, 23, P. Shanker Rao, 24, Ng Cheng Peng, 30, Ng Cheng Ket, 31 - pleaded not guilty to the charge under Section 324 of the Penal Code of causing bodily injuries to G. Rejif Maran, 34 with a rotan that resulted in his death.
The five were charged before Magistrate Sharifah Maleeha Syed Hussin here on Sunday (Nov 28).
According to the charge sheet, the five accused and another person still at large are accused of committing the offence at KM40.2 of the North-South Expressway near here at 12.30am on Dec 20, 2020.
Prior to this, the five had been charged with murder under Section 302 of the Penal Code but had been subsequently given a discharge not amounting to an acquittal.
All of the accused were arrested on Dec 24, 2020 and and were remanded in Ulu Choh until Sunday.
The prosecution was conducted by Edelynn Wong, while all of the accused were represented by Datin Freda Sabapathy and K. Veeranesh Babu.
During submissions, Wong had asked for the court to not offer bail on the grounds that the offence is a serious offence and is classified as a non-bailable offence.
However, the defence submitted that that the offence the five are charged with is a non-serious offence under Section 52A of the Penal Code, supported by a recent decision of the Court of Appeal.
The defence counsel further submitted that the court has the discretion under Section 388 of the Criminal Procedure Code to grant bail for a non-bailable offence.
The court then granted all of the accused bail of RM8,000 with one surety and directed for them to report to the nearest police station once every two months.