Lorry driver charged with murder and rape of a Sibu civil servant

Ekhwan Haque Fazlul Haque, HARUN YAHYA

SIBU: A lorry driver arrested in the murder-cum-rape of an assistant registrar at the National Registration Department was charged at the Sessions Court here today. Philip Uja, 42, was charged with two counts of murdering and raping Nurnia Azalea Priscilla Edward at an unnumbered room of a house in Jalan Tiong Hua here between 8pm on Aug 1 and 2.30pm on Aug 2 this year. The accused, who was clad in a white t-shirt, nodded his head when the charges were read to him in the Iban language. No plea was recorded from the accused, who was unrepresented. For the murder offence, Philip was charged under Section 302 of the Penal Code, which carries the mandatory death sentence upon conviction. The rape charge was fabricated against him under Section 376 (4) of the same Act. He faces the maximum 30 years’ imprisonment and not more than 10 strokes of the rotan if he is found guilty of committing the offence. Judge Caroline Bee Majanil fixed Oct 2 pending the chemistry and autopsy reports involving the case. Deputy Public Prosecutor Muhammad Tajul Aariffin Musa prosecuted. It was reported that the victim’s semi-naked body with her hands and feet tied behind her back was found inside the room of a rented house on Aug 2. Nurnia’s body was found by her colleague, who went to her house upon request of her husband after she failed to appear at work. Her husband, who is working at a school in Tatau, Bintulu, became anxious of his wife safety after several calls made to her handphone went unanswered. The accused was arrested by the police at his wife’s longhouse in Julau near here on Aug 7. © New Straits Times Press (M) Bhd