Former lawyer and two farmhands lose final appeal
PUTRAJAYA: Almost seven years after the murder of cosmetics millionaire Datuk Sosilawati Lawiya and her three aides, former lawyer N. Pathmanaban and two of his farmhands yesterday lost their final legal bid at the Federal Court to set aside their conviction and death sentence for the murders.
However, the apex court acquitted accused R. Matan.
In dismissing the trio’s appeal, the fivemember bench, comprising Chief Justice Tun Arifin Zakaria, Chief Justice of Sabah and Sarawak Tan Sri Richard Malanjum, Tan Sri Suriyadi Halim Omar, Tan Sri Azahar Mohamed and Tan Sri Zaharah Ibrahim, said their conviction and sentence were safe.
Arifin said the defence had failed to raise a reasonable doubt in the prosecution’s case against the three accused.
“There is overwhelming evidence that links the three men to the murders as they had assisted the police in the discovery of evidence,” he said.
In allowing Matan’s appeal, Arifin said though he was at the farm a day before the murders to arrange logs, he was not involved in the murders and did not lead nor assist police in the discovery of the victims’ personal items or evidence.
Pathmanaban, 47, T. Thilaiyalagan, 25, R. Kathavarayan, 37, and Matan, 26, had appealed against their conviction and death sentence for the murders of Sosilawati, 47, bank officer Noorhisham Mohamad, 38, lawyer Ahmad Kamil Abdul Karim, 32, and Sosilawati’s driver Kamaruddin Shamsuddin, 44.