GEORGE TOWN: An investigating officer in the death of T Nhaveen testified that S Gopinaath, the fifth accused, was denied his right to give his side of the story when he was arrested.
Investigating officer Nor Hisham Ramli said when Gopinaanth, 30, was arrested in 2021, no statement was taken from him at the time.
Answering questions from defence lawyer Naran Singh, Hisham agreed that those arrested for murder should be given a chance to explain themselves.
“By not taking a statement, you are unable to investigate further, correct?” Naran asked, to which Hisham said “yes”.
Hisham also told the court that Gopinaath was initially not considered a suspect. He was charged midway through the trial of the other four accused, J Ragesuthan, 22, S Gokulan, 22, and two others who were juveniles when the alleged offence took place.
Hisham was the 16th and final witness for the prosecution.
The trial began two years ago on May 3, 2021, following numerous postponements over paperwork.
The court has set June 20 for submissions from the prosecution and defence.
Judge Radzi Hamid, in thanking both parties, also paid tribute to the late Ranjit Singh Dhillon, the lead defence counsel who died last March. Ranjit, 60, died of a heart-related ailment mid-trial.
Nhaveen, 18, was allegedly assaulted by the five accused in 2017 and died days later after he was pronounced brain dead.
The five are accused of committing the offence at a park along Jalan Bunga Raya between 11pm and midnight on June 9, 2017.
They are also charged with committing a grievous assault on Nhaveen’s friend and star witness T Previin near the Karpal Singh Learning Centre in Bukit Gelugor on the same night.
Deputy public prosecutors Khairul Anuar Abdul Halim, Azhar Hamzah, Ayu Rohaiza Khazali and Shahrezal Shukri prosecuted.
Naran, S Yagoo and Maanveer Singh Dhillon represented the accused, while Sukhindarpal Singh held a watching brief for the Bar Council.