Mohamed Adat and Others v Public Prosecutor

JudgeChua F A J
Judgment Date09 March 1967
Neutral Citation[1967] SGFC 6
Subject MatterWitnesses,Whether trial judge misdirected the jury,Treatment of evidence of accomplices,Whether possible to convict on uncorroborated evidence of accomplices,Corroboration,Evidence,Whether evidence of an accomplice corroborative of evidence of another accomplice,Criminal Procedure and Sentencing,Trials
Published date19 September 2003
Plaintiff CounselDato' David Marshall (David Marshall)
CourtFederal Court (Singapore)
Defendant CounselKS Rajah and CY Chia (Deputy Public Prosecutor),Allen Yau

The four appellants in this case were convicted of murder in a trial held by jury.

The short facts are these. On the night of 17 August 1965 the deceased Rafie bin Osman was walking along the `pasar malam` at Trevose Crescent when he was assaulted by some persons and he fell to the ground. Shortly after, he was found dead at the spot where he fell. There were two stab wounds inflicted on the deceased one of which was fatal - the stab wound in the chest which penetrated the heart and in which a knife was found embedded in it. Ex P 11 was the knife. The other stab wound was in the region of the right side of the body level with the right elbow. There were also abrasions and superficial wounds on the body.

The principal evidence against the appellants was the evidence given by five witnesses - Abdullah bin Rawjan, Sinnathamby, Selamat bin Ahmad, Tohar bin Kanali and Hassan bin Haji Ali - whose evidence the learned trial judge described as `tainted evidence`, and by two other witnesses - Mahat bin Moing and Hassan bin Abdul Latiff.

The evidence of Abdullah bin Rawjan was shortly this. He lived at No 178-A Breeze Plain. On the morning of 17 August 1965 he met the fourth appellant. The fourth appellant told him that he wanted to borrow a knife and Abdullah lent him one. Exhibit P12 was the knife. At about 6.30pm that same day the fourth appellant invited him to go to the `pasar malam` at Trevose Crescent. He in turn invited Sinnathamby. He met the fourth appellant, Sinnathamby, Selamat bin Ahmad, Tohar bin Kanali and two other youths in his kampong and together they went by bus to the `pasar malam` at Trevose Crescent. On arrival there they had food at a stall and after that the fourth appellant brought them to see the first appellant. They were introduced to the first appellant who then and there told them that there would be a fight that night and asked them to scatter. He moved away from the place and as he did so he saw the first appellant stop three Malay youths, two of whom were allowed to proceed on their way but one was detained. This Malay youth who was detained was then assaulted but he was unable to say by whom. He saw this Malay youth fall down and then the people scattered. He identified the place where the dead body of Rafie bin Osman was found as the place where this Malay youth fell after being assaulted. He then went straight to the main road and boarded a bus and went home. Two days later he found the knife exh P12 in his house. He did not know who had returned it. Subsequently the police took possession of the knife exh P12.

Sinnathamby`s evidence was shortly this. He lived at 27 Breeze Plain. On 17 August 1965 Abdullah invited him to go to the `pasar malam` at Trevose Crescent. Seven of them went - he, Abdullah, the fourth appellant, Selamat, Tohar and two others. On arrival they had food. While they were having food the fourth appellant produced a knife, similar to exh P12, from his back trouser pocket and had a look at it and put it back in his back trouser pocket. After their food they walked about in the `pasar malam` where the fourth appellant introduced them all to the first appellant who immediately said `There is some matter tonight` by which he understood that there was going to be a fight. The first appellant then asked them to walk in pairs and they did so. He then saw three persons approaching. The first appellant...

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