By Rahmat Khairulrijal | New Straits Times

A file pic dated Sept 22, 2016, showing the accused leaving the High Court in Jalan Duta following the trial. — NSTP FILE PIC

There was no evidence to indicate that one of the six accused found guilty of murdering Deputy Public Prosecutor Datuk Anthony Kevin Morais had suffocated the latter, the Court of Appeal heard today.

Counsel Amer Hamzah Arshad, who appeared for S. Nimalan, said the prosecution failed to bring any evidence to support the allegation against his client.

Nimalan together with five others – former pathologist Colonel Dr. R. Kunaseegaran, A. K Thinesh Kumar, M. Vishwanath, R. Dinishwaran, and S. Ravi Chandaran, were sentenced to death after they were found guilty of murdering Morais.

They are appealing the sentence and conviction.

Amer asserted that according to the 11th prosecution witness, Forensic Medical Consultant Specialist Dr Nurliza Abdullah, there were no signs of bruising on the Morais’ neck or narrowing of the trachea or thyroid that could lead to death by strangulation.

“If there is no identifiable action, let alone any evidence of the appellant’s actions, how can it be said that the asphyxiation suffered by the deceased was intentional or unintentional?

“There is no other evidence (conversations, objects used, premeditated plans) to indicate that the appellant intended to incapacitate or suffocate the deceased,” he said.

Amer said the external injuries on the deceased could only indicate that he was attacked but do not show any intention on the part of the appellant to cause the deceased to suffocate.

“The prosecution predicted a scenario in which a plastic bag was used to cover Morais’s face when he was unconscious.

“However, there is no evidence whatsoever to support this, as there were no findings of any plastic bags, recordings, or oral testimony from witnesses.

Meanwhile, lawyer Kitson Foong, who appeared for Ravi Chandaran, said there was no evidence to support his client’s involvement in the murder.

He said the evidence only pertains to elements of kidnapping.

The six committed the offence somewhere along Jalan Dutamas Raya, Sentul, and No. 1, Jalan USJ 1/6D, Subang Jaya, between 7am and 8pm on Sept 4, 2015.

Morais, 55, was reported missing on Sept 4, 2015. He was last seen leaving his apartment at Menara Duta in Kuala Lumpur in a Proton Perdana. His body was found in an oil drum filled with cement at Persiaran Subang Mewah, Subang Jaya, on Sept 16, 2015.

In his decision, High Court judge Datuk Azman Abdullah (now Court of Appeal Judge) held that all the six men had common intention to kill Morais.

He said the defence failed to raise any reasonable doubt as to the six men’s involvement in the murder.

A total of 70 prosecution witnesses and 14 defence witnesses, including all the accused, testified in the trial which started on April 6, 2016.

The six then filed their notice of appeal to the Court of Appeal on July 13, three years ago.