Nhaveen trial: Star witness talks about revenge threat

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Friend of accused insinuated murder case already been settled through corrupt means.


T Previin (left) with judicial commissioner Radzi Abdul Hamid (fourth from right) and deputy public prosecutor Yazid Mustaqim Roslan (right).

The star witness in T Nhaveen’s trial today claimed he had received a revenge threat from a friend of the accused who claimed money had been paid to unnamed parties, insinuating the murder case had already been settled through corrupt means.

T Previin, 23, said a man by the name of Paravind aka “Belang”, had made the startling claim at his workplace two years ago.

“Belang said they (the accused) will all be freed. He said ‘we have paid for everything’.

“He then said when they (the accused) are out, they will come after me,” he said.

In December, Previin had testified that the same Belang had forcefully taken Nhaveen to Padang Openg, where the 18-year-old was assaulted and later succumbed to his injuries.

Previin also recalled receiving threats from two men, named Gopi and Vignes, who had summoned him for a face-off at their home.

Another person by the name of Vinod had also called him, warning him not to tell police that his brother, Kugendran, was at the crime scene where Nhaveen was attacked.

Previin also said that while he was having a meal three years ago, two men taunted him at a restaurant, threatening to kill him over the case. He said a police report over the matter was lodged last year.

He also revealed that police did not take his statement after he was discharged from the Penang Hospital after recuperating from a shattered cheekbone. He sustained injuries from the same fight which got Nhaveen killed.

Previin was responding to questions from deputy public prosecutors Khairul Anuar Abdul Halim and Amril Johari in their examination-in-chief.

Before the proceedings began today, High Court judicial commissioner Radzi Hamid denied a request by lawyer Naran Singh to defer the trial as he had just taken over the case and needed time to refer to the notes.

Naran has replaced lawyer Ranjit Singh Dhillon, who died on March 18.

Radzi also denied a request from the prosecution to vacate the rest of the day’s proceedings as one of the prosecutors was in Butterworth. He then ordered the prosecutor to be at the court by 11am.

After the completion of Previin’s testimony, Naran was invited to cross-examine him. Naran pleaded to the court for more time as he was just appointed as defence counsel on Saturday.

Radzi allowed the request in the interest of justice, telling all parties that the case was of public interest and ought to be expedited. He said all 2018 cases must be disposed of by this year.

Radzi then vacated this week’s five-day trial dates and set 12 new dates. The court will convene next from June 29 to July 1, then Aug 22 to 25 and the last leg from Sept 19 to 23.

S Gopinaath, 30, J Ragesuthan, 22, S Gokulan, 22, and two others have been charged with Nhaveen’s murder. The other two were juveniles when the offence took place.

They are accused of committing the offence under Section 302 of the Penal Code at the Jalan Bunga Raya park on June 9, 2017, between 11pm and midnight.

The four are also accused of committing grievous assault against Previin near the Karpal Singh Learning Centre, Jalan Kaki Bukit, Bukit Gelugor, between 11pm and midnight under Section 326 of the Penal Code.

Yagoo Subramaniam and Maanveer Singh Dhillon also appeared for the accused.

Sukhindarpal Singh held a watching brief for the Bar Council. Rajesh Nagarajan held a watching brief for Nhaveen’s family. – FMT