Tuesday January 15, 2013
Accused: I was told to detain driver
By NURBAITI HAMDAN
SHAH ALAM: The fourth accused in the murder trial of Datuk Sosilawati Lawiya and three others detained the cosmetics millionaire’s driver on the instruction of former lawyer N. Pathmanabhan, the High Court was told.
R. Kathavarayan, 32, testified that an argument broke out earlier between Pathmanabhan and the driver on Aug 30, 2010.
A party of nine men including the driver, Sosilawati’s bank manager and lawyer arrived between 6pm and 7pm earlier that day.
The group, together with Pathmanabhan, retreated into a karaoke room at a farm in Banting. After 30 minutes, Kathavarayan said he heard screaming and people arguing.
The farm hand was examined by his new lawyer Hasshahari Johari Mawi, who was appointed by the court after his lawyer Ravi Nekoo discharged himself.
As he opened the door, Kathavarayan said Pathmanabhan ordered him twice to detain the driver. After an altercation, Kathavarayan said the driver was tied up but said that he did not know who did so.
“They dragged him, told him to sit and beat him two or three times,” he added.
When asked who had beat the driver, Kathavarayan replied: “One of the nine men and Pathmanabhan.”
The driver was later taken to another area near the karaoke room where Kathavarayan said he saw the driver forced to kneel down.
“Pathmanabhan ordered (second accused) T. Thilaiyalagan to finish him off,” he said, adding that he understood that it meant “to kill”, but he did not know the reason why.
“Sosilawati’s lawyer said angrily: ‘Why do you need to kill (driver)? If you want to beat (him), then beat. Or just turn him over to the police’,” he added.
“The lawyer continued to argue with Pathmanabhan and Thilaiyalagan hit the lawyer because he had spoken harshly to Pathmanabhan, who then gave another order to tie up the lawyer,” he said.
Pathmanabhan then gave another order to “finish off” the lawyer as well, Kathavarayan said.
“He told me to leave when I asked why he needed to do that,” he said.
The hearing continues before Justice Akhtar Tahir today.