After nearly five years since the tragic death of deputy public prosecutor (DPP) Datuk Anthony Kevin Morais, whose body was found in a barrel filled with concrete, six men were sentenced to death by the Kuala Lumpur High Court today for the murder.
Judge Datuk Azman Abdullah ordered pathologist Colonel Dr R Kunaseegaran, 57; money lender S Ravi Chandaran, 49 and four others who are unemployed — R Dinishwaran, 28; AK Thinesh Kumar, 27; M Vishwanath, 30 and S Nimalan, 27, sent to the gallows after finding them guilty of murdering the DPP.
They were charged with murdering Morais, 55, somewhere along Jalan Dutamas Raya Sentul and No. 1, Jalan USJ 1/6D, Subang Jaya, at between 7am and 8pm on Sept 4, 2015.
The charge, under Section 302 of the Penal Code, read together with Section 34 of the same law, provides the mandatory death sentence upon conviction
In the judgment, Justice Azman said he found all the six accused had common intention to kill Anthony Kevin.
He said the court ruled that the prosecution had succeeded in establishing the case without any reasonable doubt on the murder charge under Section 300 of the Penal Code, read together with Section 34 of the same law, on the joint intention of the first accused (Kunaseegaran) and the other five accused of causing death.
“The defence by the accused also failed to raise any reasonable case against the prosecution case.
“Thereby, the six accused had joint intention, and found guilty under Section 302 of the Penal Code. All six accused are sentenced to be hanged to death,” he said.
There was an audible sigh of relief from the gallery when Azman meted out the sentence.
Among those who were relieved by the sentence was Datuk Richard Morais, Kevin’s brother, and the late DPP’s comrades present during the proceedings.
Richard, who arrived as early as 3pm, sat calmly in the packed public gallery together with the accused’s family members, who were also present, awaiting the decision.
Richard, clad in a black and white shirt, could not hold back his tears as he calmly walked into the courtroom.
Richard, when met after the proceedings, said he was happy with the decision, adding that the prosecution team had done a tremendous job in prosecuting the case.
“This will not change the fact that we have lost Kevin, a fantastic and dedicated DPP, a loving and caring brother, a supportive and loyal friend but finally, I hope this court will give us closure knowing these criminals will pay for their crime and will never be allowed to rejoin society again,’’ said Richard, reading from a prepared statement.
“I have waited for a very long time to seek justice for my brother… It was crazy.
“Now, I am very relieved that all the accused will face the gallows,” he added.
Some of the accused’s family members wept as the decision was announced.
The accused, meanwhile, seemed calm in the dock before they were chained together and ushered out of the courtroom after the proceedings.
Deputy public prosecutors Saiful Edris Zainuddin and Wan Shaharuddin Wan Ladin prosecuted the case.
Saiful Edris, when met, said he was happy with the decision as he knew Morais personally, since the former was a magistrate in Perak.
“I feel a little bit emotional, as I had a very good relationship with Morais.
“Everybody seems to forget about this case and focus on other high-profile cases… I am here too in solidarity with my friend who lost his life,” he said.
Wan Shahruddin said the decision was justice for Kevin.
“For me, I am grateful by the grace of Allah, the prosecution has won the case. This is the longest case that I have carried, five years. I think from the original [prosecution], I have been with the case from the start till the beginning, even though I am on duty elsewhere I would attend the case for the sake of justice for Kevin, Rest in peace, Kevin,” he told reporters after the verdict.
Also present was incoming senior federal counsel Datuk Abdul Razak Musa who said today’s verdict was a relief for other legal officers.
“Kevin has served for 28 years, most of the legal officers have worked with him and they appreciate the decision. The verdict is also important for our safety in the future,” said Abdul Razak who has been named the incoming Solicitor-General.
A retinue of junior and senior legal officers was also in attendance during today’s verdict along with several Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) officers.
Before his demise, Kevin had been a deputy public prosecutor seconded to the MACC.
In the trial, 70 prosecution witnesses, 14 defence witnesses, and the six accused testified.
Previously, seven people were charged with Kevin’s murder.
The second accused in the case, G Gunasekaran was acquitted of murder by the High Court on December 20, 2016.
He had pled guilty to another charge in the Sessions Court — causing the disappearance of evidence, under Section 201 of the Penal Code.
The Sessions Court then sentenced Gunasekaran to two years’ in jail effective from the date of his arrest on September 15, 2015 after he pled guilty to concealing Kevin’s body and disposing of the plate number of latter’s car, WA 6264Q.
Gunasekaran had also taken the stand as a prosecution witness.