res ipsa loquitur

courtesy from : The Sun

It was not my honest intention to story further in Altantuya Sharibuu' s case, but it was 'res ipsa loquitur' (the thing speaks for itself) to what really happened in the recent trial.

There was drama, both inside and outside the court, during the continuation of submission in the Altantuya Shaariibuu murder trial yesterday.

A policeman, Lance Corporal Othman Abdul Rahman collapsed at the side entrance of the High Court about 9am.

Othman and another policeman were taking Corporal Sirul Azhar, 32, Chief Inspector Azilah Hadri, 36 and political analyst Abdul Razak Baginda, 48, to the fourth floor of the High Court where proceedings were being held.

They had taken the stairs from the ground floor.

Othman, 47, who has a history of heart problems and diabetes, collapsed and was taken to the National Heart Institute where he died.

Then later inside the courtroom, lawyer Kamarul Hisham Kamarudin had a heated exchange with deputy public prosecutor Tun Abdul Majid Tun Hamzah with regard to the police witnesses and the accused persons.

A statement by Kamarul that the court should not believe the evidence of police witnesses as they were either lying or seemed to have forgotten certain events, irked Tun Abdul Majid.

The DPP retorted that if the prosecution witnesses were not telling the truth, so too were the accused.

Kamarul: If that is the case, then there is nothing to stand on.

DPP: Come on Kamarul, be fair to the prosecution and stop hurling unsubstantiated allegations.

Judge Datuk Mohd Zaki Md Yassin then calmed both men and said that Tun Abdul Majid would have his chance to reply.

The exchange took place when Kamarul, who is appearing for Sirul, said there were material contradictions in the evidence given by ASP Zulkarnain Samsuddin, Chief Inspector Koh Fei and Corporal Chiam Swee Guan.

It was at this juncture that Kamarul said they were lying.

The three policemen were in the team that went to Sirul's apartment in Kota Damansara after the accused allegedly offered information that led to the discovery of Altantuya's jewellery.

A trial-within a trial was earlier held to determine whether Sirul's statement that led to the discovery should be excluded as evidence.

Kamarul is now submitting at the close of the prosecution's case that there were different versions from witnesses as to what happened in the apartment.

"The evidence of the prosecution runs haywire and the stories of the policemen were not capable of being believed."

He said the court should believe the testimony of police photographer Lance Corporal Kamarolzaman Mat Noor who was seen as an independent witness.

He said Kamarolzaman who was outside the apartment was only asked to go in 15 minutes later to take pictures.

Kamarul said Zulkarnain who came out of the apartment had uttered "that the thing" had been discovered and ordered the photographer to take pictures.

"How did Zulkarnain know where the jewellery was if he had not anticipated it in advance?"

He said Kamarolzaman was then instructed to take shots of Sirul pointing towards a jacket in a cupboard.

"We submit that whatever statement made after the discovery of any item is no longer admissible in law," he said.

He said the scene was orchestrated as Sirul was posing when holding the jacket.

"A picture tells a thousand words," Kamarul said.

Sirul and Azilah, both members of the special action squad, are charged with murdering Altantuya at Mukim Bukit Raja, Selangor between 10pm on Oct 19 and 1am the following day.

Razak is charged with abetting them.

Hearing continues on Monday.