Muar High Court acquits, discharges two of kidnapping charge

Haresh (second right) and Richarddas, (right) shaking hands with their lawyer Sabapathy (middle). Also present were lawyers K. Veeranesh Babu (left) and Fairuz Elias Majid (second from left) outside the Muar High Court.

MUAR: Two men walked out of the High Court here as free men after being acquitted and discharged from a charge of kidnapping a man in front of his house six years ago.

High Court Judge Justice Halijah Abbas made the decision after finding that the prosecution had failed to prove a prima facie case against the accused, 34-year-old B. Haresh and 32-year-old M.J. Richarddas.

Both men had faced a possible death sentence or life imprisonment and whipping if convicted of the offence under Section 3 of the Kidnapping Act 1961.

In her judgement, Justice Halijah ruled there were a lot of gaps in the investigation of the case, besides non-credible statements made by the witnesses.

“I have heard the statements from both sides and found that there is a lack of information in the investigation, especially in the statements made by the victim himself,” she said.

“The victims have made contradicting statements that have caused doubt in the case and the difficulty of identifying whether both accused are the persons involved in this case,” added Justice Halijah.

She then ruled that both accused are acquitted and discharged from all of the charges without being called to enter their defence.

According to the charge sheets, Haresh and Richarddas - who both work as bus drivers in Singapore - with common intention, kidnapped a 38-year-old man and demanded a ransom worth RM130,000.

The offence was allegedly conducted in front of a house in Jalan Orkid, Taman Orkid, Simpang Renggam, Kluang, at 6am on June 29 2017.

The charge was framed under Section 3(1) of the Kidnapping Act 1961, read with Section 34 of the Penal Code, which provides for the death sentence, life imprisonment, or whipping upon conviction.

A total of 16 witnesses were called to testify throughout the proceedings of the case.

The case was prosecuted by deputy public prosecutors Muhammad Hidayat Wahab and Nor Syamilah Jalaluddin, while both of the accused were represented by Fairuz Elias Majid, Datin Freeda Sabapathy, and K. Veeranesh Babu.

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Kidnap , Court , Crime , Muar


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