Doctor gets death for wife’s murder

KUALA LUMPUR - He claims that his marriage had been on the rocks for a long time.

Dr Jitweer Singh Ojagar Singh also claimed in court that his wife Shento Kaur Jaswant Singh was an alcoholic and drug dependent.

However, the evidence produced in court against him for the murder of his wife seven years ago was far more convincing.

He was sentenced to death by the High Court yesterday.

Justice Asmabi Mohamad ruled that the defence had failed to raise reasonable doubt against the prosecution's case.

"Thus, I sentence you to hang by the neck till you are dead," she said, when handing down the decision yesterday.

Justice Asmabi said her hands were tied by the mandatory provision of the law and Dr Jitweer had the right to appeal.

"If I am wrong, the upper courts will reverse my decision. The judgement is to the best of my ability based on evidence placed before me," she said.

In her ruling, she said Dr Jitweer testified that his marriage had beenfailing and the victim was an alcoholic and drug dependent but failed to raise the issue when his son Dharamjit and his brother Kurdip Singh were testifying.

Justice Asmabi said the theory that the victim died due to "positional asphyxia" was an afterthought.

She said pathologist Dr Bhupinder Singh, who was attached to the Penang Hospital, had only read the forensic report and did not examine the body directly.

Dr Jitweer was charged with murdering Shento Kaur at their house in Bandar Country Homes, Rawang, between 5am and 8.30am on Oct 22, 2007.

He was brought to the courtroom handcuffed at about 10.30am to hear the verdict and for the sentencing to be read out. He appeared calm after the judge read out the verdict.

In mitigation, Dr Jitweer's counsel Sangeet Kaur Deo said that her client was a first-time offender and was a qualified doctor since 1981.

She said Dr Jitweer had a 24-year-old disabled son and 14-year-old twin sons.

A total of 21 prosecution witnesses were called to give their testimony.

On Aug 30, 2010, the Shah Alam High Court had acquitted and discharged Dr Jitweer after the prosecution had failed to prove a prima facie case against Dr Jitweer, 60.

On Sept 28, 2011, the Court of Appeal upheld Dr Jitweer's acquittal stating that the High Court judge had carefully considered the evidence and was right in arriving at the conclusion.

On Aug 5, last year, the Federal Court overturned the acquittal of the doctor and ordered him to enter his defence.