PUTRAJAYA: Former lawyer Datuk N. Pathmanaban and two of his farmhands today lost their final legal bid to dismiss their conviction and death sentence for the murder of cosmetics millionaire Datuk Sosilawati Lawiya and her three aides in 2010.
However, the apex court acquitted the third accused, R. Matan, citing that both the High Court and Court of Appeal has erred in convicting him and affirming his conviction and death sentence.
In unanimously dismissing the trio's appeal, the five-member bench, comprising panel chair Tun Ariffin Zakaria, Chief Justice of Malaysia; Tan Sri Richard Malanjum, Chief Justice of Sabah and Sarawak; Tan Sri Suriyadi Halim Omar; Tan Sri Azahar Mohamed and Tan Sri Zaharah Ibrahim, said their conviction and sentence was safe.
Ariffin said the defence had failed to raise a reasonable doubt to the prosecution's case. He also ruled that there was insufficient evidence to link Matan to the murders.
Pathmanaban, 47; T. Thilaiyalagan, 27; and R. Kathavarayan, 37; had appealed against their conviction and death sentence at the Federal Court for the murder of Sosilawati, 47; bank officer Noorhisham Mohamad, 38; Ahmad Kamil Abdul Karim, 32; and Sosilawati's driver Kamaruddin Shamsuddin, 44.
It was reported that Sosilawati and her aides went missing after going to Banting for a land deal.
The four appellants were arrested and charged in 2011.
They were accused of committing the murders at Lot 2001, Jalan Tanjung Layang, Tanjung Sepat in Banting, between 8.30pm and 9.45pm on Aug 30, 2010.
They were sentenced to death by the Shah Alam High Court on May 25, 2013, following their conviction for the murders.
Counsel Amer Hamzah acted for farmhand Matan; Hisham Teh Poh Teik and Datuk Gurbachan Singh for Thilaiyalagan; Manjeet Singh Dhillion for Pathmanaban; and T. Vijayandran for Khatavarayan.
The prosecution, led by Saiful Edris Zainuddin, comprised Ishak Yusof, Idham Abdul Ghani, Norinna Bahadun and Jasmee Hameeza Jaafar.