It wasn’t just prison officers, but also lawyers who had asked an accused in the murder trial of deputy public prosecutor Anthony Kevin Morais, to plead guilty to the charge.
“The lawyers came to meet me, there were no threats made, but they urged me to admit (to the murder),” said S Nimalan, 25, the sixth accused in the case, during cross-examination by counsel N Sivananthan during the trial which entered its 14th day at the High Court in Kuala Lumpur today.
Without mentioning the names of the lawyers, Nimalan who is the fifth defence witness, said that the incident occurred in 2015. At that time, he had not appointed any lawyer to represent him in the case.
To Sivananthan's question on whether he had previously pleaded guilty, the accused said that he did not, including to the alternative charge that was offered by the prosecution in 2016.
He added that he did not accept the alternative charge as he had consulted a lawyer, whom he later appointed.
Nimalan said the decision was made after he consulted his appointed lawyer afterwards.
"Jay (G Gunasekaran, the former second accused who is now free after completing his sentence) had also told me not to admit to the offence because I did nothing (wrong)," he said.
On March 28, 2016, Nimalan, a former college student, was offered an alternative charge of helping to hide the body and destroying a vehicle with the number plates WA 6264 Q with the intention of preventing the six other accused from taking legal action.
The charge was lodged under Section 201 of the Penal Code which provided a maximum jail term of seven years and a fine, upon conviction.
Gunasekaran, was also offered the same alternative charge and pleaded guilty to the charge and was sentenced to two years jail from the date he was arrested on Sept 15, 2015.
R Dinishwaran, AK Thinesh Kumar, M Vishwanath, Nimalan, S Ravi Chandaran, and army colonel Dr R Kunaseegaran, pleaded not guilty to the charge of killing Morais on the way from Jalan Dutamas 1, Sentul to No.1 Jalan USJ 1 / 6D, Subang Jaya, between 7am and 8 pm, on Sept 4, 2015 under Section 302 of the Penal Code and read together with Section 34 of the same code which carries the mandatory death sentence upon conviction.
At today's proceedings, the five accused, Dinishwaran, 26, Thinesh Kumar, 25, Vishwanath, Nimalan and Ravi Chandaran, 47, were represented by lawyer V Rajehgopal while Kunaseegaran, 55, was represented by lawyer Sivananthan. The prosecution was led by DPP Saiful Edris Zainuddin.
The trial before Justice Azman Abdullah continues tomorrow.