Karpal to IGP: Account for all murder cases the past 36 years

Free Malaysia Today 16.09.2010

GEORGE TOWN: Senior parliamentarian Karpal Singh today demanded that the new IGP’s office and the AG’s chambers to reveal facts and figures pertaining to all murder cases over the past 36 years. The two-term Bukit Gelugor MP said IGP Ismail Omar and AG Abdul Gani Patail have a public responsibility to furnish details on these cases since the murder of former IGP Abdul Rahman Hashim in 1974.

Abdul Rahman was gunned down by two men while travelling to work in the backseat of his car in broad daylight in Lorong Raja Chulan, Kuala Lumpur on June 7, 1974.

Karpal benchmarked Abdul Rahm’s high-profile murder as a prefect starting point for the police and prosecutors to reveal details on all murder case probes up till the present time, before the parliamentary debate on Budget 2011 begins on Oct 15.

Karpal, a leading lawyer in the country, planned to debate the matter during the budget debate.

He wants details on number of police reports lodged, findings of investigations, suspects arrested, charged and released, cases resolved, unresolved and reasons behind those unresolved cases since 1974

“Indeed, the IGP should reopen all unsolved murder case files immediately, particularly on the slaying of former IGP Abdul Rahman,” Karpal, the DAP national chairman, told a media meet today.

He also demanded that the police to explain publicly on findings of unsolved murder cases in Penang of lawyers – Triptipal Singh, 60, outside his home in Jalan Yeap Chor Ee on Oct 15, 1992; S Pathmanathan, 29, in his office in China Street on Oct 19, 1997; Chew Sien Chee, 39, in Bukit Mertajam on March 2, 2000; senior civil lawyer SP Annamalai, 59, outside his office in Green Hall on Nov 6, 2007; and R Thinakaran Raman, 37 in Prai on July 27, 2009.

The outgoing IGP Musa Hassan has said previously that the Abdul Rahman murder case was closed as two members of the Communist Liberation Front Lim Woon Chong and Ng Foo Nam were charged for the crime.

'Bakri in contempt of court'

But Karpal pointed out that both Lim and Ng were acquitted and discharged after they categorically denied any involvement in the assassination. The prosecution had also withdrawn the case.

Lim and Ng were also jointly charged for the murder of then Perak police chief Khoo Chong Kong and his driver Sgt Yeong Peng Chong in Ipoh on Nov 13, 1975.

They were found guilty by the Ipoh High Court on March 22, 1978 and were hanged in Pudu Jail in the early 1980s.

Karpal, who was the defence counsel for Lim, said that the prosecution withdrew the murder charge on his client before he was executed for Khoo’s murder.

“My client admitted to Khoo’s murder but not Abdul Rahman's,” said Karpal, who himself had received several threats to his life previously, including receiving live bullets.

Commenting on the latest high-profile murder case of cosmetics millionaire Sosilawati Lawiya, he slammed the ongoing media trial and demonisation of the suspects as “amounting to contempt of court.”

He took the police to task, chiding Federal CID director commissioner Bakri Zinin from Bukit Aman for revealing findings of investigation.

“It amounts to subjudice . . . in America, it could lead to a mistrial,” he rebuked, expressing doubts on Bakri’s competence as a senior officer.

“This is the problem when you have having incompetent personalities in police force. Bakri is surely incompetent,” said Karpal,

“Suspects were presumed innocent until proven guilty. They should be given every opportunity for a free and fair trial. They are entitled to it,” he said..

He said the media trial and concerted demonisation of the suspects could exert undue influence and public pressure on the magistrate assigned to handle the remand orders, and the prospective presiding judge for the eventual trial.

He reproached Bar Council K Ragunath for suggesting it was alright for police to disclose details of Sosilawati murder probe since there was no trial by jury, which was abolished in 1994.

He pointed out that a murder trial judge doubles up as a jury under the current law.

“Thus a judge shall not be subjected to any pressure. I don’t know whether Ragunath really understood the law,” he said.

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