Saturday,18th September 2010
Family members and the public will have to wait for at least a fortnight before eight suspects detained in connection with the brutal murder of millionaire businesswoman Sosilawati Lawiya and three others are charged in the court.
Sources close to the investigation and prosecution teams revealed that thus far only the mystery of the murder victims' disapperance has been answered.
Now it's all about gathering evidence, drafting the charges and successfully prosecuting the case.
"The most difficult part is ensuring justice is meted out fairly, not only to the victims' families but also to the suspects arrested in connection with the case," a source said.
The prosecution, he said, had narrowed down eight suspects to two groups, with the first group likely to be charged under Section 302 and 304 (a) or 304 (b) of the Penanl Code for murder and manslaughter.
A 41-year-old lawyer and his younger brother have been identified as the main suspects.
Two others are likely to face charges under Section 302 which carries the mandatory death sentence, while the rest might face lesser charges.
"More than one person were directly involved in the murders and we need to be very careful and thorough in drafting the charges so that no one walks free at the end of the prosecution's case.
"We should akso respect the fundamental rights of an individual as provided for in our justice system, where a suspect is presumed innocent until proven otherwise.
"We are not going give in to any sort of public pressure," said a police officer close to the investigation team.
On Sept 12, Bukit Aman CID director Mohd Bakri Zinin confirmed that four suspects, including a woman, aged between 19 and 54, had confessed to the killing of Sosilawati, 47, her driver Kamaruddin Shansudin, 44, a CIMB branch officer Noorhisham Mohammad, 38, and lawyer Ahmad Kamil Abdul Karim, 32.
Asked why the delay in charging the suspects, a source close to the prosecution said chemistry and DNA reports are very critical in completing the investigation papers.
"What we have thus far is confessions from the suspects. We need scientific evidence and the law is very clear on this where cautioned statetments alone are not enough to get a conviction," the officer added.
He said that in the past, in several high-profile cases, suspects walked free merely on technical grounds.
"This case is an extraordinary one where they had killed four people at one go and also confessed to killing several others.
"We need to probe further to build an air-tight case. We can't do that without forensic evidence, which is a key element of our justice system," added the officer.
He said it would take at least another a week before police could obtain all the vital information from the relevant departments.
Meanwhile, the men currently detained at the Dang Wangi district police station are expected to be handed over to the Kuala Langat (Banting) district police where several missing persons' reports have been lodged against the suspects.
In a related development, police obtained a week's extension of the remand order to facilitate their investigations against the prime suspect and four others.
Police are expected to obtain a similar order against three other suspects tomorrow.
AGI IDUP AGI NGELABAN