Published: Wednesday July 25, 2012 MYT 3:00:00 PM
Banting murders: Two Court of Appeal judges recuse themselves
By NURBAITI HAMDAN
PUTRAJAYA: Two Court of Appeal judges have recused themselves from hearing an appeal in the murder case of cosmetics millionaire Datuk Sosilawati Lawiya and three others.
Lead defence counsel Manjeet Singh Dhillon earlier applied for the recusal of Justices Ramly Ali and Mohamed Apandi Ali because the two were involved in related matters that overlapped with the issue in their appeal.
Justices Ramly and Mohamed Apandi had previously heard a leave application by witnesses K. Sarawanan, 21, and U. Suresh, 28 in April 2011.
"We feel that we should recuse (ourselves). It's not an issue of bias but justice must be seen to be done," said Justice Ramly on Wednesday.
The appeal is expected to be heard Thursday before a new panel.
The panel of judges, together with Justice Zaharah Ibrahim, were supposed to hear the defence's appeal against a Shah Alam High Court's decision that disallowed their application to call three DPPs as witnesses in their bid to expunge two exhibits in the case.
On Monday, Justice Akhtar Tahir disallowed the defence's request from calling DPPs Ishak Mohd Yusoff, Saiful Edris Zainuddin and Idham Abd Ghani to appear as witnesses.
The defence had earlier applied to expunge two notes of proceedings from the list of exhibits on grounds that they were not relevant to the main trial as the documents only pertained to the credibility of prosecution witnesses Sarawanan and Suresh.
Sarawanan and Suresh are currently serving a 20-year jail sentence after pleading guilty at a Telok Datok magistrates court in Banting in October, 2010, to disposing of evidence related to the murders.
The defence moved to call the DPPs as witnesses because they were involved in the proceeding at the Telok Datok magistrate's court and they had tendered the documents in their attempt to discredit Suresh and Sarawanan.
Four men - N. Pathmanabhan, 43, T. Thilaiyalagan, 21, R. Matan, 22, and R. Kathavarayan, 32 - have been accused of murdering Sosilawati, 47, her driver Kamaruddin Shamsuddin, 44, bank officer Noorhisham Mohamad, 38, and lawyer Ahmad Kamil Abdul Karim, 32, at Lot 2001, Jalan Tanjung Layang, Tanjung Sepat, Banting, between 8.30pm and 9.45pm on Aug 30, 2010.
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