Kevin Morais trial: Witness refuses to testify due to ‘lack of sleep’

Kevin Morais murder trial is interrupted after witness refuses to testify and no prison officer is available to answer judge’s questions on inmate’s jail conditions.

KUALA LUMPUR: Deputy public prosecutor Anthony Kevin Morais’ murder trial today was postponed when the seventh accused in the case refused to testify.

S Ravi Chandaran, 47, who is the sixth and last defence witness, was supposed to continue with his testimony today, but declined to do so after taking his oath.

“I cannot testify because my mind is not stable due to not enough sleep and I was also not given food last night.

“After retuning from court yesterday, I was isolated in a closed cell with five foreign nationals.

“I could not sleep the whole night because they were talking and did not sleep,” he said in Tamil, which was then translated by a court interpreter.

Judge Azman Abdullah, who presided over the case, then called for a representative from the Sungai Buloh Prison to confirm the matter, but no prison officer was present.

“I cannot say anything because this matter is under the jurisdiction of the Prisons Department.

“Perhaps, he was placed separately because of his statement yesterday that his life was in danger.

“I request lawyer V Rajehgopal (who represented Ravi) to continue with the examination-in-chief,” said Azman.

However, the proceedings, which entered its 16th day today, could not continue as Ravi refused to respond to the lawyer’s questions and kept saying his mind was unstable.

Yesterday, Ravi shocked the High Court when he said that he might be testifying for the last time as he could be dead after that.

R Dinishwaran, AK Thinesh Kumar, M Vishwanath, S Nimalan, Ravi and an army doctor, Colonel Dr R Kunaseegaran, 55, had pleaded not guilty to the charge of murdering Morais, 55, between 7am and 8pm on Sept 4, 2015, while the deputy public prosecutor was on his way from Jalan Dutamas 1, Sentul to No 1, Jalan USJ 1/ 6D, Subang Jaya.

They were charged under Section 302 of the Penal Code and face the mandatory death sentence upon conviction.

Dinishwaran, 26, Thinesh Kumar, 25, Vishwanath; 28, Nimalan and Ravi were represented by Rajehgopal, while Kunaseegaran was represented by lawyer N Sivananthan.

The prosecution team was led by deputy public prosecutor Saiful Edris Zainuddin.

Hearing continues tomorrow.

Prison officers pressured me to admit to DPP’s murder, says accused