SHAH ALAM - Three friends charged with murdering an unemployed man over unsettled debts walked free when the High Court acquitted and discharged them.
Personal driver S. Manigumar, in his 40s, his brother S. Manimaran and their cousin, vehicle repossessor S. Gopikumar, who are in their late 30s, immediately rushed over from the dock to hug and thank their lawyers.
They were charged with murdering M. Sasi Kumar, 25, with several people who are still at large in front of an apartment block in Medan Batu Caves in Gombak at about 7pm on March 5, 2008.
In passing judgment, Justice Mohd Sofian Abdul Razak said the prosecution had failed to call two witnesses who were important in the murder trial.
One of them was the head of the residents' association of the housing area, known as Zulkifli, who had lodged a police report claiming that he saw the deceased being hit by two individuals at the apartment area.
"No reason was given by the prosecution as to why Zulkifli was not called as a witness when he was the first one to have witnessed the assault," he said.
Justice Mohd Sofian said M. Ravi, who had claimed to have hit the victim at a construction site and then confessed to the deceased's uncle that he had killed Sasi Kumar, was also not called by the prosecution as a witness.
"Ravi was not called although he was offered to the defence," he said.
The judge freed the three men after hearing testimony from 21 prosecution witnesses and the three accused.