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High Court fixes July 10 to deliver verdict on Kevin Morais murder case

KUALA LUMPUR (June 11): The High Court has fixed July 10 to deliver its verdict on Col (Rtd) Dr R Kunaseegaran and five others who were charged with the gruesome murder of Datuk Kevin Anthony Morais five years ago.

Justice Datuk Azman Abdullah fixed the date after hearing submissions from the defence and prosecution today.

Kunaseegaran's lawyer Datuk N Sivananthan told the court that there is no connection between his client and the other five accused with the murder.

He also said the prosecution's allegation against Kunaseegaran was that he wanted to take revenge on Kevin for initiating corruption charges against him. However, this notion is not supported by any strong testimony, he said.

“Kunaseegaran has testified in his defence that Kevin had agreed to assist him to reduce the asking price for bail and agreed to the release of his car by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission. 

“The prosecution's witnesses themselves testified that they had not seen Kunaseegaran quarelling with Kevin or saying vulgarities to each other,” he said.

Sivananthan said the only thing linking Kunaseegaran to the case was that he apparently smiled when told about what had befallen Kevin. That, however, does not denote motive, the lawyer argued.

He added that his client was not in the vicinity where Kevin was kidnapped on Sept 4, 2015, and that he was in Klang that whole day, while records from his phone calls showed he had not contacted any of the accused.

He also highlighted a technicality issue, that while Kunasegaran's charge sheet stated he is being charged for murder with five other accused, the charge sheet of the five accused has no mention of them being jointly charged with Kunasegaran.

Meanwhile, counsel Datuk A Seelan for the five accused pointed out that the wire that was used to tie Kevin's body had contained the DNA of an unidentified man that did not belong to any of the accused.

He then cited the case of engineer Haniff Basree Abdul Rahman, who was accused of murdering 22-year-old Norita Samsuddin, and how the court had little choice but to acquit the accused as there were doubts regarding the DNA evidence found.

Besides Kunaseegaran, 57; the five others charged are: R. Dinishwaran, 28; A.K. Thinesh Kumar, 27; M. Vishwanath, 30; S. Nimalan, 27, all unemployed; as well as money lender S. Ravi Chandaran, 49.

All are 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.

Look at the evidence in totality, prosecution urges

The prosecution, led by DPPs Datuk Saiful Edris Zainuddin and Wan Shaharuddin Wan Laden, urged the court to look at the evidence against all of the accused in totality and as a whole.

They said the five accused were the ones last seen with Morais, as they were seen in the Mitsubishi Triton vehicle that was seen entering Kondominium Dutamas, the deceased's place of residence. A witness had testified that he saw the Triton vehicle with the five accused striking Morais' car, and that they were the last people seen with the deceased.

“Kunaseegaran did not negate the evidence posed against him. When a witness told him of the accident suffered by Kevin, Kunaseegaran only smiled. The prosecution submits that this was not a normal behaviour for a person who claims not to be involved in the murder, as Kevin was handling his corruption case,” Saiful Edris said.

There have been no attempts by the defence to negate the prosecution's evidence in the case, Saiful Edris added.

Hence, the prosecution said the defence had failed to raise any reasonable doubt in the case and urged the court to convict the accused under Section 302 of the Penal Code for murder, which carries the death sentence if found guilty.

A total of 53 prosecution witnesses and seven defence witnesses, including the six accused, had been called to testify in the trial.

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