Absent witnesses delay murder trial

Absent witnesses delay murder trial
Malaysian police said on 9 August 2011 that they had found human remains believed to be those of a 30-year-old French woman, Ms Stephanie Foray.

KUANTAN - The Stephanie Foray murder trial hit a snag when the High Court was told that two witnesses did not show up for the defence case.

Defence counsel Muhammad Hisham Abdul Rahim requested for a postponement, saying that he was told that only one witness, Rahah Omar, turned up.

"We also found out that witness Monaliza Yaakob had given birth two months ago and could not be present," he said.

The accused, Asni Omar, 39, was supposed to begin his defence by testifying under oath from the witness stand yesterday.

He is charged with murdering Foray, 30, at an unnumbered house in Kampung Tekek, Pulau Tioman, between 8pm on May 10 and noon on May 12, 2011.

Foray was a French tourist who was travelling alone.

High Court judge Justice Mariana Yahya asked why the lawyer only told the court about it yesterday when there had been ample time between the end of the prosecution's case and the beginning of the defence hearing.

Muhammad Hisham said a letter was sent to the prosecution on April 16 and a reply received on April 23 stating that Monaliza and former Pahang CID chief Senior Asst Comm T. Narenasegaran could not be contacted.

Justice Mariana adjourned the trial to today.

Foray's parents Joel and Irene Mortel were present in court.

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