By V. Anbalagan | Free Malaysia Today

Seven men who caused the death of a trader were sentenced to 10-year jail terms by the Court of Appeal today. — BLOOMBERG

Seven men were sentenced to jail terms of 10 years each after they pleaded guilty to an amended charge of causing the death of a trader during a riot in front of a house in Klang six years ago.

G. Mathan, 34, G. Sivachandran, and M. Sundran, both 33, G. Inthran, 30, M. Yogaraj, 27, S. Gooperaraj, and G. Ugeneswaran, both 22, and another still at large were today convicted of culpable homicide not amounting to murder of R. Renganathan.

A three-member bench chaired by Kamaludin Said ordered the prison terms to begin from the date of their respective arrests, which fell between April 3 and April 11, 2016.

Also on the panel were Justices Hadhariah Syed Ismail and Mariana Yahya.

The incident happened in front of a house in Taman Mewah, Klang, at about 8pm, on April 2, 2016.

An eyewitness saw them attacking the victim with various objects, including parangs.

Medical evidence adduced during the trial revealed that Renganathan died of massive blood loss due to slash wounds on his head and upper limbs.

On July 17, 2019, the High Court sentenced the men to death after finding them guilty of Renganathan’s murder.

At the outset of today’s appeal hearing, Gooperaraj’s lawyer, R. Subash, informed the bench that the Attorney General had accepted representations submitted on behalf of all seven men.

As a result, the murder convictions were set aside and they each pleaded guilty to the amended charge which carries a jail term of up to 30 years.

Kamaludin said the 10-year jail terms imposed on each of them were based on the facts and circumstances of the case.

“I hope you will be rehabilitated and will be responsible citizens after you are freed from prison,” he said.

In submissions earlier, Deputy Public Prosecutor Dusuki Mokhtar had urged the court to give priority to public interest rather than to the appellants’ welfare.

“A life has been lost as a result of the incident,” said Dusuki, who was assisted by Samihah Rhazali.

Lawyers Amer Hamzah Arshad and Joshua Tay represented Ugeneswaran, Mathan, and Inthran, while Rajpal Singh appeared for Sivachandran, Yogaraj, and Sundran.