Defence lawyer accuses mother of causing a trial by media and claims Nhaveen had started a fight with one of the accused.
-May 5, 2021 6:08 PMLead defence lawyer Ranjit Singh Dhillon, with lawyers Yagoo Subramaniam (centre) and Maanveer Singh Dhillon (left).GEORGE TOWN: The murder trial of bullying victim T Nhaveen saw defence lawyers claiming that the 18-year-old was a member of the outlawed “04” underworld gang, with the court being shown a picture of him flashing a gang sign.
The court also heard that Nhaveen had been treated for a blood clot in his brain, which was detected when he was 17 and that the brother of one of the four accused had, in fact, rushed Nhaveen to hospital after he had fallen unconscious.The lawyers for four boys accused of beating Nhaveen to death also accused his mother of causing a “trial by media”, blaming her for giving statements to the press.
Later, a government chemist also told the High Court there was not enough DNA evidence on a crash helmet allegedly used by the assailants to hit Nhaveen, but there were bloodstains on the shirt of one of the accused.While cross-examining Nhaveen’s mother D Shanti today, lead defence counsel Ranjit Singh Dhillon produced a photo of Nhaveen with an unidentified person sourced from his Facebook page. He said Nhaveen was seen flashing a 04 gang sign with his hand – four fingers out sideways with the thumb folded onto the inside of his palm. headtopics.com
He asked Shanti if she was aware that her son was part of the 04 Gang, which was known to dominant in the Gelugor area, where they lived.“I’m not saying my clients are angels. But I put it to you that Nhaveen was the one who started the fight. He and his friend Previin have had links with the 04 Gang,” Ranjit said before submitting the photograph as evidence.
Shanti strongly objected, saying her son was not involved in gangs. She said she knew Nhaveen’s whereabouts all the time and that the photograph was taken during a jogathon event some years back.Re-examined by deputy public prosecutor (DPP) Mohd Amril Johari later, Shanti also recalled that the boy next to Nhaveen in the photograph was a friend from school who dropped out in Form Three.
‘Nhaveen and friend started the fight’Ranjit, in his cross-examination, touched on a phone call between Shanti and Raga or J Ragesuthen, one of the accused. Shanti had testified earlier that she called Raga after finding out that he had “abducted” Nhaveen, and that Raga had been rough with her, refusing to send Nhaveen home until he had “settled”with him.
Ranjit said that in reality, Raga had merely told Shanti that Nhaveen and Previin had met him and he was in the midst of “settling” the matter to find an amicable resolution. Shanti denied such a suggestion, saying she knew what she heard.Re-examined by DPP Khairul Anuar Abdul Halim, Shanti said it was clear from Raga’s “threatening” voice that the boy was adamant about hurting Nhaveen. headtopics.com
A picture of Nhaveen with a friend taken from his Facebook page. A defence lawyer claimed were flashing the 04 gang signs.Ranjit then asked Shanti about the person who had called to say that he was taking an injured Nhaveen to the hospital. He said it was impossible that it was “Raga’s brother” as Shanti testified yesterday.
Ranjit said the person who called was actually Gopinath Selvaraju, a brother of one of the accused who can’t be named as he was charged as a juvenile. He said Gopinath had driven a car bearing the plates VU 5011 which was noted by a police officer at the beat base there.
“I put it to you that the accused’s brother had tried to help Nhaveen. It shows that Raga (one of the accused) and the others had helped Nhaveen to get treatment,” he said. Shanti again denied it.‘Anal tear of an old 50sen coin’ and existing blood clots in brain
Ranjit then went on to question Shanti about a claim of Nhaveen bleeding from his anus at the emergency room of the Penang Hospital, a claim she attributed to a “Dr Priya”.He said Penang Hospital forensic specialist Dr Amir Saad Abdul Rahim had testified on Monday that there was no anal tear or penetration found during post-mortem. headtopics.com
Shanti insisted that a Dr Priya had informed her about the anal tear. She said Dr Priya went on to say that Nhaveen suffered anal tear measuring “as big as the old 50 sen coin”.Shanti also said a plainclothes officer claiming to be the “IO kes” (case investigating officer) had come out of the ward telling her Nhaveen was “okay” and there was nothing to be worried about.
Ranjit then asked Shanti why the case was tried as murder and not unnatural sex under Section 377 of the Penal Code. She said she had no clue and was merely relying on what was conveyed to her by Dr Priya.Dr Priya, she said, was among many consultant neurologists at the hospital who had treated Nhaveen for a “blood clot” in his brain, which was detected when he was 17.
Shanti also agreed that Nhaveen was unable to play contact sports and that, if the clot is hit, it would cause an epileptic shock and may be fatal.Ranjit claimed what Shanti testified was mere hearsay but the mother replied that she was merely telling what she was told by the doctors.
Trial by mediaRanjit then accused Shanti of taking Nhaveen’s case into a trial by media by giving emotional statements to the press. She replied that she was just expressing her feelings and wanted justice for her son.However, during re-examination by DPP Khairul, Shanti said she had merely “called the media” to express sadness at such a “cruel situation”.
Later, Chemistry Department science officer Jacqueline Bernice John Bosco took the stand, saying that DNA evidence had been obtained from items such as a crash helmet, shoe, clothing, a glass bottle and other items suspected to have been used in the murder.
She said she could not match Nhaveen’s DNA on the helmet and other items, but found blood belonging to the deceased on one of the accused’s shirts. It was a “strong match”, she said.The prosecution then said it would rest for now and asked a different date for the trial to continue.
Judicial commissioner Mohd Radzi Abdul Hamid then set five more days, June 29 and 30; July 6; and Aug 5 and 6, to hear from 12 other witnesses in the case.He also asked the prosecution to apply to the court for a protection order for the witnesses, if necessary.
J Ragesuthan, S Gokulan, 22, and two others are charged with the murder of Nhaveen on June 19, 2017. The other two were juveniles when they were charged.They are accused of murdering Nhaveen near the Karpal Singh Learning Centre, Jalan Kaki Bukit, Gelugor between 11pm and midnight on the date. They have since been detained at the Sungai Petani Juvenile Prison.
Ranjit represented Ragesuthan and Gokulan, while Maanveer Singh Dhillon and Yagoo Subramaniam represented the other two minors. P Malkit Kaur held a watching brief on behalf of Nhaveen’s family. Read more: Free Malaysia Today »
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