KUALA LUMPUR: The first day of the defence trial of the murder of deputy public prosecutor Datuk Anthony Kevin Morais at the High Court here became tense momentarily when the first accused, pathologist Col Dr R. Kunaseegaran became incensed and shouted when testifying in the witness stand.
Kunaseegaran, 55, initially responded to questions from his lawyer Datuk N. Sivananthan calmly but as soon as Sivananthan asked about the accused's response on the theory that he was angry with Morais who had previously handled his case at the Shah Alam Court to the extent that he wanted to do something bad, the pathologist responded furiously.
"Kevin Morais was a prosecutor, his job was to prosecute, he just did his job. If I said I'm glad that he prosecuted me, of course not. But I have used the law to defend myself. I let the lawyer talk on my behalf. I never said anything to Kevin Morais nor to his relatives.
"It seems like everyone is saying that I'm disappointed with Kevin Morais. What proof do you have? Show me the proof! Have I ever threatened anyone ?! No!," he shouted before his lawyer calmed him down.
After Kunaseegaran, in a black suit, managed to calm himself, he repeatedly apologised to the court and said he was in jail for two and a half years and felt extremely stressful and did not intend to scold anyone.
Judge Datuk Azman Abdullah also advised the accused to calm down and answer the question properly as all of his testimony would be recorded.
During examination in-chief by Sivananthan, Kunaseegaran said he had been charged with several charges in the Shah Alam Court and Morais had also offered him a bail.
“Why should I be upset with Kevin, I went through my trial well, there is no reason to hurt anyone (including Kevin Morais)," he said.
Earlier, responding to Sivananthan's question on when he knew about Morais's death, Kunaseegaran said on Sept 15, 2015 when he was arrested and taken to the Kepong Police Station and one of the police officers told him about it.
Kunaseegaran said he later told the police officer that he would give his full cooperation to assist police in their investigation into the case.
In reply to a suggestion by deputy public prosecutor Wan Shaharuddin Wan Ladin during cross-examination that only Kunaseegaran had the motive to kill or hire individuals to kill Morais, who handled his case at the Shah Alam Court, the witness said he disagreed.
“Yes, I had a case in Shah Alam (court), they (other accused) did not. I do not know if they have a motive or not," he said.
When asked by Wan Shaharuddin whether Morais was a good deputy public prosecutor, the witness said "Yes, I think so. I do not know but what I saw, he was good,” he said adding that Morais was not a threat to him.
During the re-examination by Sivananthan, Kunaseegaran continued to assert that he did not consider Morais as an enemy but instead respected him and hoped that he would return home safely when he heard about news that he was missing.
"I have never seen him as an enemy. I always respect him as a deputy public prosecutor. I'm also the first person to tell Jay (the second accused who has been released after serving a jail sentence) about Kevin Morais being missing,” he said.
Kunaseegaran, R.Dinishwaran, 26; A.K Thinesh Kumar, 25; M.Vishwanath, 28; S. Nimalan, 25, S.Ravi Chandaran, 47, pleaded not guilty to a charge of murdering Kevin Morais between 7 am and 8 pm on Sept 4, 2015, while Morais was on his way from Jalan Dutamas 1, Sentul to No. 1 Jalan USJ1/6D, Subang Jaya.
They were charged under Section 302 of the Penal Code read together with Section 34 of the same code which carries the mandatory death sentence, upon conviction.
Morais’s body was found in a drum filled with concrete at Persiaran Subang Mewah, Subang Jaya, near here on Sept 16, 2015.
Morais was reported missing on Sept 4, 2015 and the last time he was seen was when he was leaving his condominium in Menara Duta, here to go to work in Putrajaya by driving a Proton Perdana car with registration number WA6264Q.
The trial continues tomorrow.--BERNAMA