Former resort worker to hang for killing manager

IPOH - A former resort worker at Pulau Pangkor was sentenced to death by the High Court here for murdering his manager six years ago.

Hamzah Osman, 24, was found guilty yesterday by Justice Datuk Zainal Adzam Abdul Ghani of killing Norazuda Iden, 31, in room 202, Suria Beach Resort in Teluk Nipah, Pulau Pangkor, on Aug 18, 2008.

The victim was also the wife of the resort owner.

Hamzah appeared unfazed when the judge delivered the sentence. The 31-year-old victim was five months pregnant at the time.

In meting out the sentence, Justice Zainal Adzam said the prosecution had proven its case beyond reasonable doubt.

"The accused had given an alibi which turned out to be a weak defence.

"Not only did the prosecution manage to prove that the accused was at the resort at 1am on Aug 18, 2008, but then the accused himself had also confirmed that he was indeed at the resort at the time," Justice Zainal Adzam said.

He said the court had further found statements by Hamzah to be contradictory.

"The accused had first testified that he wanted to leave the island for Muar to visit his sick grandfather, but later on, stated that he had bought a bus ticket from Manjung to Muar to see his sick grandmother.

"Evidence also shows that he had bought a bus ticket to Johor Baru and not Muar," Justice Zainal Adzam said, adding that Hamzah, being in a hurry to leave the island after the murder, was also relevant.

He said the defence's argument - that a cigarette butt with Hamzah's DNA was found in the room where Norazuda was murdered because of his habit of discarding cigarette butts indiscriminately - was not reasonable.

"For one working in housekeeping, surely he would not throw his cigarette butt in a room he has cleaned. It does not make sense," the judge said.

He said it was also proven that the jewellery Hamzah had sold in Johor did not belong to his girlfriend as claimed, but belonged to the victim.

During the trial, Norazuda's husband had identified the jewellery and testified that they belonged to his wife while producing receipts as proof.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Harris Ong Mohd Jeffery Ong prosecuted while Datuk Naran Singh was the defence counsel.