Kevin Morais murder trial delayed as defence submission hampered by MCO

Deputy public prosecutor Anthony Kevin Morais was murdered five years ago.

KUALA LUMPUR: The murder trial of deputy public prosecutor Anthony Kevin Morais remains ongoing as a lawyer has been unable to meet his clients in prison for discussions.

Sheelan Arjunan told trial judge Azman Abdullah that he could not file his written submission as he had been unable to meet with five accused persons in Sungai Buloh since the movement control order took effect on March 18.

The country was put under a conditional version of the order on May 4.

“I need to run the submission through with them before filing it in court,” he told Azman during case management.

Sheelan is representing R Dinishwaran, 28; AK Thinesh Kumar, 27; M Vishwanath, 30; S Nimalan, 27; and S Ravi Chandaran, 49. Ravi is a money lender while the rest are unemployed.

They, together with pathologist Dr R Kunaseegaran, are charged with the murder of Morais whose body was found in a barrel filled with concrete five years ago.

None of them were in court today as FMT understands the registry did not issue an order for them to be produced before the judge.

Azman fixed another case management on Monday so that they could be brought to court, as the accused must be present for all proceedings in a criminal trial.

Lawyer N Sivananthan, who is representing Kunaseegaran, said he had filed his written submission some time ago.

Deputy public prosecutor Saiful Edris Zainuddin, who is leading the prosecution, said he could not reply to the submission by the defence as Sheelan had not filed his clients’ case in court.

On Nov 20, 2017, Azman ordered the six men to enter their defence after ruling that the prosecution had succeeded in establishing a prima facie case.

Kunaseegaran, Dinishwaran, Thinesh Kumar, Vishwanath, Nimalan and Ravi Chandaran pleaded not guilty to murdering Morais, 55, between Jalan Dutamas Raya Sentul and No. 1, Jalan USJ 1/6D, Subang Jaya, on Sept 4, 2015.

They were charged under Section 302 of the Penal Code, read together with Section 34 of the same law, and face the mandatory death sentence if convicted.

Kunaseegaran was initially charged with abetting but on May 15, 2017, the charge was amended to having a common intention with the five men in the murder of Morais.