Published: Tuesday January 15, 2013 MYT 8:57:00 PM
Updated: Tuesday January 15, 2013 MYT 8:59:32 PM
Banting murders trial: Accused saw Sosilawati nine days after murder
By NURBAITI HAMDAN
SHAH ALAM: The fourth accused in the murder trial of Datuk Sosilawati Lawiya and her three aides made a shocking revelation when he testified that the cosmetics millionaire was seen leaving a restaurant in Tanjung Sepat nine days after she was allegedly murdered at a farm.
R. Kathavarayan, 32, said former lawyer N. Pathmanabhan, 43, came to Ladang Gadong in Banting in the evening of Sept 7, 2010.
“He parked his car at the farm and told me to send him the restaurant. We went with my car,” said the accused who was examined by his lawyer Hasshahari Johari Mawi on Tuesday.
Kathavarayan, who could not remember the restaurant's name, said Pathmanabhan went inside the restaurant to eat and chat with his friends while Kathavarayan was told to stay in the car.
He said about five to six people from the restaurant, including a woman, who later got up and walked to their cars. The woman got into a car that looked “similar to a Jeep”.
While on his way back with Pathmanabhan to Ladang Gadong, Kathavarayan said he asked Pathmanabhan about the woman who was at the restaurant.
“He (Pathmanabhan) said it was the same woman who came to the farm the other day. I commented that she looked different because she had short hair but Pathmanabhan maintained that it was the same woman,” Kathavarayan said, referring to Sosilawati.
When asked whether he had a clear look of the woman, Kathavarayan said: “The view was not clear when I was sitting in the car. But I saw the woman when she walked out to her car.”
Kathavarayan, who was shown a photo exhibit of Sosilawati, said her hair was short and “not like in the photo”.
“I'm not sure if she coloured her hair. She did not wear a coat (like in the photo). She was wearing normal attire,” he recalled.
The accused added Sosilawati had a male companion with her.
“He was wearing a long sleeved shirt. I have never seen him before,” he said.
Earlier, Kathavarayan said two discussions took place between Sosilawati and Pathmanabhan at the farm on Aug 30, 2010. The first discussion took place outside a room and near Sosilawati's lawyer and the second discussion was inside a room at the farm.
Hasshahari: Can you hear clearly the discussion in front of the lawyer?
Kathavarayan: Pathmanabhan ordered (second accused) T. Thilaiyalagan to kill the driver (Sosilawati's) and he said Sosilawati told him to do so.
Hasshahari: Do you know why?
Kathavarayan: No, I don't.
The startling testimony prompted judge Justice Akhtar Tahir to ask the accused again, whether Pathmanabhan ordered Thilaiyalagan to kill the driver because Sosilawati said so.
Kathavarayan replied, “Yes”.
The accused also testified that in the afternoon of Aug 31, 2010, he saw Thilaiyalagan and third accused R. Matan “burning the murdered men” at the back of the farm.
Hasshahari: Who did you mean when you said “the men”?
Kathavarayan: I meant the driver, the lawyer and another man that I don't recognise.
The hearing continues.