Prosecution: Murder, beyond reasonable doubt

Prosecution: Murder, beyond reasonable doubt
Kovan double murder suspect, Iskandar Rahmat, being brought to the Subordinate Court on 15 July 2013.
PHOTO: The Straits Times

The prosecution has proved its case "beyond a reasonable doubt", Deputy Public Prosecutor (DPP) Lau Wing Yum told the court yesterday.

To show that suspended police officer Iskandar Rahmat, 36, had intentionally wanted to kill his two victims, he cited these main points:

THE INJURIES

DPP Lau told the court that the extensive injuries found on both victims indicated that Iskandar had intended to kill motor workshop owner Tan Boon Sin, 67, and his son, businessman Tan Chee Heong, 42, in the father's Hillside Drive house on July 10, 2013.

He stressed that the older Mr Tan had 27 knife wounds while his son had 20, one of which had caused an open fracture to his skull.

DPP Lau added that the force used was so great that fragments of fractured bone were found in Mr Tan Chee Heong's brain.

Iskandar had also admitted in an investigation statement that shortly after he stabbed Mr Tan Boon Sin, the latter started shouting and Iskandar covered his mouth to silence him.

When Mr Tan Boon Sin bit his hand, Iskandar stabbed him several times in the neck until his body went limp.

"(Due to) the severity (of the injuries) and (Iskandar's) failure to explain how they came about, the prosecution's submission is that the only irresistible and necessary inference is that he intended to kill," DPP Lau said.

ISKANDAR WANTED TO LAUNCH SURPRISE ATTACK

DPP Lau told Justice Tay that Iskandar had left bloody sock prints behind the front door when he stood there after attacking Mr Tan Boon Sin.

He said: "The accused hid behind the front door to wait for this 'someone', who turned out to be (the younger Mr Tan), so that he could launch a surprise attack."

CLAIM OF ACTING IN PRIVATE DEFENCE NOT CREDIBLE

DPP Lau said Iskandar had killed his two victims to silence them so they could not identify him.

He submitted that Mr Tan Boon Sin never threatened or attacked Iskandar with a knife.

Citing some examples, he said that the older Mr Tan served the former policeman a drink when they reached his house.

DPP Lau added: "He left the electronic gate (to his house) open because he trusted the accused, who told him that there was no need to close it as his supposed partner would be coming soon."

He urged Justice Tay Yong Kwang to convict Iskandar under the most serious section of the murder charges - Section 300(a), under which offenders must be sent to the gallows.

Under the other sections, offenders may be jailed for life and caned instead. 

DEFENCE: NOTHING TO SUGGEST IT'S MURDER

In his closing submissions, defence lawyer Shashi Nathan said there was nothing that emerged during the trial that suggested his client had committed murder.

While there was a motive, Iskandar Rahmat's sole intention had always been to take the money and he had never intended to kill, he said.

NO PLAN

While the prosecution said that killing car workshop owner Tan Boon Sin had always been part of Iskandar Rahmat's plan, Mr Nathan disagreed.

If he had planned to kill Mr Tan, he would have parked his rental car closer to Mr Tan's house at 14J, Hillside Drive, instead of Eunos Industrial Park, a 15-minute drive away.

In fact, Iskandar had not even taken a change of clothes and he had not stabbed Mr Tan the moment they entered the house.

"If (Iskandar) had a knife (as the prosecution suggested), he would have killed (Mr Tan) the moment they stepped into the house. No need for this facade of (having Mr Tan) get him a drink, and (Iskandar) going out to smoke," Mr Nathan said, referring to the incident where Mr Tan took out a canned drink for Iskandar.

In fact, the knife said to be used in the killings was never recovered, Mr Nathan said, adding that there was no evidence that Iskandar had taken the knife to Mr Tan's house.

FOOTPRINTS

Much had been made of the bloody footprints Iskandar left at the house.

But Iskandar's prints were in a linear direction, showing him going from the living room into the dining area before going into the toilet in the utility room and back into the common area, Mr Nathan said.

This was consistent with Iskandar's version of events that after the confrontation with Mr Tan Boon Sin and his son, he had gone in search of a towel to wrap his injured hand.

"If he had been trying to look for something, the footprints would be going in multiple directions," the lawyer added.

The last time Iskandar saw the bag containing Mr Tan's valuables, it was near the staircase leading to the second storey. But there were no footprints in that area.

NO INTENTION

Iskandar had no intention to kill both men, much less run over Mr Tan Chee Heong to ensure that he was dead, Mr Nathan said.

His client maintains that he never went out to look at the younger Mr Tan lying on the ground outside, nor did he know that the younger Mr Tan was trapped under his father's Toyota Camry.

Said Mr Nathan: "He knows he shouldn't have done this. For a minor offence (of stealing money), he killed people. I'm not asking you to acquit him, (Iskandar) has killed two people, knows the consequences and must be punished.

"But the intention never developed to kill them. In the course, things went awry."

Mr Nathan wrapped up his submissions by asking Justice Tay Yong Kwang to acquit Iskandar of the 300(a) murder charge, which carries a mandatory death penalty, and to convict him of a lower murder charge.

ABOUT THE CASE

On July 10, 2013, the body of Mr Tan Chee Heong, 42, was found with stab wounds at a taxi stand outside Kovan MRT Station.

The body had been dislodged after being dragged nearly 1km by his father's car.

The car was driven by Iskandar Rahmat, 36, who is on trial for the double murders of Mr Tan and his father, Mr Tan Boon Sin, 67.

The father's body was found with multiple stab wounds in his home at 14J, Hillside Drive.

Iskandar fled to Malaysia that night but was arrested in a Johor Baru eatery two days later.

Iskandar, a police officer with the Bedok Police Division, was facing disciplinary proceedings because of a $50,000 debt to OCBC Bank.

The prosecution maintains that he had hatched an elaborate plan to rob and kill the older man to ease his money problems.

His defence says the incident was a theft gone wrong, with tragic consequences.

Justice Tay Yong Kwang will deliver his verdict on Dec 4.


This article was first published on Nov 24, 2015.
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