Kovan murder trial: Accused reveals in court how he plotted to rob victim

Kovan murder trial: Accused reveals in court how he plotted to rob victim
PHOTO: The Straits Times

SINGAPORE - Ex-policeman Iskandar Rahmat revealed in court on Friday that he had planned to rob car workshop owner Tan Boon Sin of more than $200,000 and that he was acting in self-defence when he stabbed a father and son at Kovan.

The 36-year-old is accused of stabbing and slashing Mr Tan, 67, and his son, Tan Chee Heong, at their Hillside Drive house on July 10, 2013.

On the sixth day of the trial, Iskandar took to the stand as one of the two witnesses.

According to Shin Min Daily News, he revealed that he was driven to desperation after having incurred debts of over $87,000 from his car, housing and renovation loans, and that he feared he could not provide for his family.

On Nov 8, 2012, Iskandar had been assigned as the investigating officer when Mr Tan Boon Sin lodged a police report that money was missing from his safe deposit box at the Certis Cisco Centre.

The idea of stealing from Mr Tan came to him when he learnt that the safe deposit box still contained over $200,000, Shin Min Daily News reported.

Iskandar said that he began plotting to rob Mr Tan on July 8, three days before a scheduled backruptcy hearing. Iskandar called up Mr Tan, telling him that he had information that his safe deposit box would be hit again.

On the day of the incident, he met Mr Tan to install a surveillance camera for the safe deposit box in Mr Tan's house. When Mr Tan discovered that there were no batteries in the camera, he realised that Iskandar had been lying to him and became angry.

According to Lianhe Wanbao, Iskandar said that Mr Tan had then charged at him with a knife. Fearing for his safety, he wrested the knife away from Mr Tan's hand and stabbed him in defence.

It was then that the younger Mr Tan arrived on the scene. When he saw what happened, he shouted and rushed towards Iskandar. Acting in self-defence, he stabbed Mr Tan Chee Heong as he had forgotten he had a knife in hand.

Iskandar then fled the scene and was subsequently arrested two days later at an eatery in Johor Bahru.

Iskandar was one of two witnesses to take the stand on Friday, in front of a packed courtroom of about 50 people, The Straits Times reported.

Previously, on the third day of the trial, forensic pathologist Dr Gilbert Lau had rubbished the defence's contention that Iskandar acted in self-defence. Dr Lau told the court that the elder Mr Tan had suffered 12 stab wounds to his neck and chest and slash wounds across his neck, chest and head, while his son had seven stab wounds and at least seven stab wounds.

Cross-examination of the witnesses will begin on Nov 9.

seanyap@sph.com.sg

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