The Federal Court in Putrajaya today upheld the conviction and death sentence of a former lawyer and two of his farm hands, but acquitted one of the appellants, for the murder of cosmetic millionairess Sosilawati Lawiya and her three aides, nearly seven years ago.
The former lawyer and the farm hands are N Pathmanabhan, 47, T Thilaiyalagan, 25, and R Kathavarayan, 37.
A five-person panel chaired by Chief Justice Arifin Zakaria, in their judgment today, said there was overwhelming evidence to show that Sosilawati and her three aides were murdered at Pathmanabhan's farm in Banting.
The panel, which also comprised Chief Judge of Sabah and Sarawak Richard Malanjum and Federal Court judges Suriyadi Halim Omar, Azahar Mohamed and Zaharah Ibrahim, however, acquitted the third appellant, R Matan, 26, on grounds of insufficient evidence to implicate him for the murders.
The four men were sentenced to death by the Shah Alam High Court on May 23, 2013, for murdering Sosilawati, 47, bank officer Noorhisham Mohamad, 38, lawyer Ahmad Kamil Abdul Karim, 32, and Sosilawati's driver Kamaruddin Shamsuddin, 44.
They were found guilty of committing the offence at Lot 2001, Jalan Tanjong Layang, Tanjung Sepat, in Banting between 8.30pm and 9.45pm on Aug 30, 2010.
Pathmanabhan, Matan,Thilaiyalagan and Kathavarayan appealed, but their appeal was dismissed by the Court of Appeal on Dec 4, 2015.
Sosilawati and the three aides were reported missing after reportedly going to Banting for a land deal.Their disappearance made headlines nationwide.
The four men were arrested and charged in court in 2011.