Gang member at Orchard Rd attack trial: He was certain, yet confused

Yes.

No.

I don't know.

These are some of the responses that prosecution witness Muhammad Fazri Mohd Noor gave at the culpable homicide trial of Hassan Amat, 52, at the High Court on Wednesday.

A fight between rival gangs outside Orchard Plaza ended in the death of Mr Mohamad Noraidi Zahari, 28, who was slashed multiple times on his head, back and limbs.

At times during the trial, Fazri appeared certain.

At times, he appeared confused, and many of his answers were vague or unclear.

The defence counsel, Mr Paul, spent most of the morning pointing out discrepancies in Fazri's statement.

In his statement given to the police two days after the July 23, 2010 incident, Fazri, 27, had said that it was Hassan who had instructed him to gather his gang members at Chill Bar in Cuppage Plaza on that fateful day.

But on Tuesday, Fazri told the court that Hassan did not give him any instruction to call his gang members to gather at the bar.

Fazri is currently serving five years' jail for his part in the clash.

Can't explain

During the cross-examination, Mr Paul asked Fazri to explain the discrepancy in his statement, and Fazri said that he doesn't know how to.

Mr Paul then suggested that Fazri had orchestrated the plot to push the blame to Hassan.

By doing so, he managed to get a "good deal for himself" by having his murder charge reduced to a simple rioting charge, said Mr Paul.

"It is a badly crafted story to make yourself creditable," added Mr Paul.

Fazri disagreed.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Ramu Miyapan then questioned Fazri further and tried to get him to clarify his replies to Mr Paul.

Mr Ramu asked Fazri if he remembered telling the court that he had seen a person throwing a chair at a rival gang member.

He replied, "Yes."

He had told police that it was Hassan who threw a chair at a rival gang member.

Mr Ramu then asked Fazri to tell the court why he said it was Hassan who had thrown the chair.

"I can't remember," Fazri replied.

When asked why should the court believe his story, Fazri said: "I do not know. It is up to you to believe me or not."

Mr Ramu said: "Defence said you have lied. Are you lying in court today?"

"I didn't," said Fazri.

He added that he could not recall some things that he had said in his police statement, which was taken two years ago.

Mr Ramu then asked: "Can you tell us what do you mean when you say you can't recall?"

Fazri frowned and said: "Now I cannot remember anything."

Fazri had insisted that he did not lie and what he had said in his statement of facts when he pleaded guilty to his offence in February this year, was the truth.

"So what are you saying is the truth?" asked Justice Tay Yong Kwang.

Fazri replied: "When I pleaded guilty, what I said in court (then) was the truth."

Justice Tay: "What about this (police) statement dated July 25, 2010?"

Fazri replied: "This statement is not the truth."

Later in the afternoon, another witness, Muhammad Saiful Islam Simon, 21, took the stand.

Saiful told the court that Fazri had called him to gather their men and go to the bar.

So he got together five members and arrived at Chill Bar after 1am.

Saiful said Fazri had told him that the other members had prepared weapons, but Fazri did not say where the weapons were.

Saiful's testimony continues on Thursday.

Gang member at Orchard Rd attack trial
Click on thumbnail to view (Photos: ST, TNP)

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