Doctor promised to pay legal fees for all accused, witness tells Morais murder trial

Kevin Morais was reported missing on Sept 4, 2015 and his remains were later found in a drum filled with concrete.

KUALA LUMPUR; The High Court was told today that the first accused in the murder of deputy public prosecutor Anthony Kevin Morais, Colonel Dr R Kunaseegaran, had promised to engage lawyers and pay the legal fees for all the other accused as he “felt guilty” for dragging them to prison.

A Murugan 48, a mechanic and former accused in the case, said Kunaseegaran made that promise to them when they were remanded in custody.

“Yes, he said so,” Murugan said when asked by lawyer V Rajehgopal during cross-examination whether he agreed that Kunaseegaran had wanted to engage lawyers and pay the legal fees for all the accused as the doctor “felt guilty” after they were detained because of him.

Rajehgopal was representing four of the accused, namely R Dinishwaran, A K Thinesh Kumar, M Vishwanath and S Nimalan.

Murugan, who was formerly the eighth accused, was released after serving a two-year sentence for disposing of Kevin Morais’ car and its chassis number at his workshop.

Murugan was initially charged with murdering the deputy public prosecutor but was offered an alternative charge of removing the chassis number of Kevin Morais’ car, to which he pleaded guilty.

During cross-examination by lawyer A Sheelan representing S Ravi Chandaran, Murugan said all the accused agreed to accept Kunaseegaran’s offer as they could not afford to engage their own lawyers due to financial constraints.

However, the witness agreed with Sheelan’s suggestion that, not long after that, Kunaseegaran had told them that he would not pay the legal fees as the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission was monitoring him.

Murugan also agreed that after Kunaseegaran told them so, he (Murugan) had told Ravi Chandaran that he wanted to plead guilty to the alternative charge as he had no other choice.

To a question from deputy public prosecutor Saiful Edris Zainuddin on the actual reason that made Kunaseegaran want to engage lawyers and pay the legal fees for all the accused, Murugan said he did not know.

Kunaseegaran, Ravi Chandaran, Dinishwaran, Thinesh Kumar, Vishwanath and Nimalan, pleaded not guilty to the charge of killing Kevin Morais on the way from Jalan Dutamas 1, Sentul to No 1 Jalan USJ 1/6D, Subang Jaya, between 7 am and 8 pm on Sept 4, 2015.

The charge, under Section 302 of the Penal Code and read together with Section 34 of the same law, carries the mandatory death sentence, upon conviction.

In today’s proceeding, Kunaseegaran was represented by lawyer Jay Moy Wei Jiun.

The hearing before Judge Azman Abdullah continues tomorrow.