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Tuesday, January 31, 2023

I didn’t influence witness, activist tells Nhaveen murder trial


Arun Dorasamy (right) speaking to T Nhaveen’s mother, D Shanti. With them is T Previin.

GEORGE TOWN: Rights activist Arun Dorasamy denied suggestions by the defence team that he exerted influence on a key witness in the T Nhaveen murder trial.

Testifying as a prosecution witness, Arun said he merely helped T Previin draft a police report in Malay, which Previin had dictated to him in Tamil.

“My role was to carry out fact-finding so as to initiate a civil action in the future,” he said in reply to a question by deputy public prosecutor (DPP) Khairul Anuar Abdul Halim.

In his testimony, Previin had denied that a second police report he made in 2021 – four years after the incident – was his, leading the defence to conclude that it was fabricated on Arun’s instructions.

Arun, however, refuted that claim, saying the new report was lodged at the urging of Nhaveen’s mother and Previin’s family, with the intention of adding details left out of the first information report.

“It was indeed Previin’s own police report,” Arun said.

“I only helped Previin translate his complaint from Tamil to Malay on my laptop, and saved it onto my flash drive, which was later copied into the police report,” he testified.

Arun also said he met potential witness M Kugendran in October 2021 and spoke “cordially” with him in a restaurant for about two hours.

He also denied a police report claiming that he had roughed up and threatened Kugendran during the meeting.

“I called Kugendran to meet (up with him), as his name had been brought up by Previin as someone who had witnessed the fight. Kugendran said he didn’t know what happened that night (when Nhaveen was beaten up),” said Arun.

(From right) Defence lawyers Naran Singh, Maanveer Singh Dhillon and his pupil, Lim Sheng Zhe, outside the courtroom.

‘PI-like’ behaviour

Lead defence lawyer Naran Singh also questioned why Arun took it upon himself to investigate the case.

“Are you a PI (private investigator)? Isn’t this a PI’s job?”

“Don’t you know that you are investigating a case without the permission of the police?” asked the lawyer.

Arun denied he was investigating the case, saying he was merely “collating facts” which he later conveyed to the police.

He also denied influencing witnesses to testify against the five accused.

To another question under cross-examination by Naran, Arun said that he secured funds to finance his probe from donations sourced from the public, including via a “Nhaveen Action Investigation League” rally publicised on a Facebook page he administers.

Arun said the donations collected were not solely for Nhaveen’s case but to cover numerous other causes he was involved in.

DPPs Azhar Hamzah, Ayu Rohaiza Khazali and Shahrezal Shukri also prosecuted.

S Yagoo and Maanveer Singh Dhillon also represented the accused.

Sukhindarpal Singh held a watching brief for the Bar Council.

Five people have been charged with murder in connection with Nhaveen’s death. They are S Gopinaath, 30, J Ragesuthan, 22, S Gokulan, 22, and two others who were juveniles when the alleged offence took place.

They are accused of committing the offence at the Jalan Bunga Raya park between 11pm and midnight on June 9, 2017.

The five are also charged with committing a grievous assault on Previin near the Karpal Singh Learning Centre in Bukit Gelugor that night. - FMT

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