The George Town High Court today, 3 October, has delivered its verdict in the highly publicised case of the murder of T Nhaveen in 2017
Justice Radzi Hamid announced that the five individuals including two juveniles, who were first charged with the offence back in June 2017, have been found not guilty of the murder of Nhaveen, reported FMT.
The individuals acquitted and discharged by Justice Radzi Hamid include S Gopinaath, aged 30, J Ragesuthan, aged 22, S Gokulan, aged 22, and two who were juveniles at the time of the alleged offence.
The accused were charged with the murder of Nhaveen, who was 18 years old at the time, at a park on Jalan Bunga Raya between 11pm and midnight on 9 June 2017.
In addition to the murder charge, they were also accused of committing grievous assault on Nhaveen's friend, T Previin, who was 19 at the time, near the Karpal Singh Learning Centre in Bukit Gelugor.
The tragic assault ultimately resulted in Nhaveen's demise days after being pronounced brain dead.
A family member consoling D Shanti, Nhaveen's mother, at Penang Hospital in George Town.
The trial, which commenced on 3 May 2021, almost four years after the incident, underwent several postponements due to paperwork
Justice Radzi highlighted significant flaws in the prosecution's case, resulting in the failure to prove a prima facie case against the five accused, according to New Straits Times.
FMT reported that the judge specifically mentioned the lack of credibility in the testimony of the key witness, T Previin, whose inconsistent testimony, language discrepancies, and false police report claim raised doubts about his credibility as the star witness.
Justice Radzi emphasised that this lack of credibility severely impacted the ability to establish a clear chain of events and link the accused to the alleged crime.
The judge noted that there was insufficient evidence to establish the presence of the accused at the scene of the crime and dismissed the charges, stating that there was no joint intent to murder Nhaveen.
Furthermore, Justice Radzi criticised the mid-trial murder and assault charge against the fifth accused, Gopinaath, labelling it unjust due to lack of evidence and inadequate investigation.
The verdict, while shocking for Nhaveen's single mother, has come as relief for the five, who broke into tears after they were freed today
The accused, who had collectively spent years in detention, were visibly emotional upon their release.
Outside the court, Gopinaath expressed his gratitude towards the defence counsel.
The five men and their lawyers, Datuk Naran Singh (left) and Manveer Singh (right), outside the courtroom.
Meanwhile, last month, the Court of Appeal upheld the conviction of a young man who was found guilty of the tragic fire that killed 23 people at the Darul Quran Ittifaqiyah Tahfiz in Kuala Lumpur in 2017: