Ram Puneet Tiwary: Looking back, I can't recognise myself

Ram Puneet Tiwary: Looking back, I can't recognise myself
Mr Ram Puneet Tiwary has recorded the harrowing years he spent in jail in his memoir, 99 Months: The Case Of The Sydney Double Murders, which goes on sale today. The 35-year-old says the book gives him closure, but that some family members found it difficult to read, breaking down in tears midway through.

About the case

Eleven years ago, Mr Ram Puneet Tiwary shared a flat in Sydney with fellow Singaporeans Tay Chow Lyang, 26, and Tony Tan Poh Chuan, 27.

All three were enrolled at the University of New South Wales.

On Sept 15, 2003, Mr Tay was bludgeoned to death in their flat and Mr Tan was murdered there later, after he returned from a lecture.

Mr Tiwary, who was in the flat at the time, says he was woken from a nap by the sounds of violence, hid in his room and later called the police.

He was arrested and charged with both murders in May 2004. Prosecuting officers said his motive was that he owed Mr Tay A$5,045 (S$ 5,600) in rent and killed Mr Tan to cover up the dispute.

A 12-member jury pronounced him guilty and sentenced him to life imprisonment without parole in 2006.

Mr Tiwary appealed.

In 2008, a three-judge court ruled for a retrial, as the earlier trial had been improperly conducted.

The court found that the judge at the original trial gave the jury improper instructions on some of the evidence, and that there had been evidence which did not support a conviction.

At the retrial in 2009, the defence showed chat messages from Mr Tay as evidence that Mr Tiwary had been paying his share of expenses.

After 17 hours of deliberation, the jury delivered another guilty verdict. Mr Tiwary was sentenced to jail for 48 years.

A second appeal in 2012 focused on the facts that Mr Tay, a conscientious student, missed a lecture the day of his death and Mr Tan got into a white car with three still unidentified people not long before he and his flatmate were found dead.

The Court of Criminal Appeal acquitted Mr Tiwary of the murder charges, citing that the two victims had behaved unusually on the day of their murders and that there was a lack of forensic material linking him to the deaths.

Australian prosecutors announced that they would not appeal against the acquittal.

Mr Tiwary returned to Singapore on Sept 19, 2012.

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