IPOH - The High Court here has sentenced three men to death for murdering former Ipoh Barat MIC division treasurer N. Sindambaram at his house four years ago.
A. Manimaran, 24, S. Saravanan, 29, and K. Perumal, 31, wept as Judicial Commissioner Teo Say Eng issued the mandatory death penalty.
Their family members wailed after the sentence was handed down and court policemen tried to calm them down before taking the three to the lock-up.
Earlier, JC Teo had convicted the men, saying the prosecution had proven its case beyond reasonable doubt and that the defence was an afterthought and a bare denial.
They face the gallows for murdering Sindambaram, 64, who was also the chairman of the Ipoh Hindu Devasthana Paripalana Sabah, which manages the Sri Maha Mariamman temple in Jalan Sungai Pari and the Sri Subramaniar Temple in Gunung Cheroh.
They committed the offence between 11.30pm on Jan 11, 2009, and 2.10am the next day at 759, Jalan Wayang in Buntong.
According to the statement of facts, they had entered Sindamba-ram's house with the intention to rob and slashed him to death in the process.
In November 2010, it was reported that JC Teo had acquitted and discharged Manimaran, Saravanan and Perumal at the end of the prosecution's case.
Media reported that the fingerprints of the first accused were found on a window grille of the victim's house but the judge ruled the prosecution had failed to establish a prima facie case.
The prosecution appealed and in April this year the Court of Appeal sent the case back to the High Court, ordering the three to enter their defence.
Deputy Public Prosecutor Siti Fatimah Talib prosecuted, while Stanislaus Vethanayagam, R.V. Lingam and Mahinderjit Singh represented Manimaran, Saravanan and Perumal, respectively.
It is learnt that the three will file an appeal.