By : SURAINI ANDOKONG.
KOTA KINABALU: The trial of a Pakistani trader accused of causing the death of a local girl in Kota Marudu, took a twist yesterday when her father said he wanted to withdraw his police report pertaining to her daughter’s death.
Saliwa Madaya, 58, told Sessions Court judge Duncan Sikodol that initially he did not know that this case was brought to the court for the purpose of charging Amir Ali Khan Nawaty with causing the death of his 16-year-old daughter, Norikoh Saliwa.
The 40-year-old Amir, who is defended by counsel Rakhbir Singh, allegedly committed the offence on a moving lorry at Jalan KM2.8 Langkon from Kota Marudu between 11am and 12.30pm on Nov 25, 2012.
He was charged under Section 304 (b) of the Penal Code, which provides for a jail term of up to 10 years or with a fine or with both on conviction.
“I have no knowledge that this case will be brought to court for trial. I came to know this when a teacher by the name of Ernie, who took care of my daughter (Norikoh), told me that this case had been brought to court,” he testified during examination-in-chief by deputy public prosecutor Raja Zaizul Faridah Raja Zaharuddin.
He said even if he could afford to proceed with this case, he would never bring this case to court as he felt bad when people kept talking about his daughter who had passed away eight months ago.
“At first, our family felt so devastated over the death of our youngest daughter Norikoh, but now, I feel that with this trial it does not to lessen my burden but instead I need to travel from Kota Marudu to Kota Kinabalu, to attend court proceedings,” said Saliwa, who earns a living as a farmer in his village.
To a question from Raja Zaizul Faridah, Saliwa pleaded with the court to free Amir of the charge but with condition.
“Earlier, I did mention that I’m urging the court to free the accused but with the condition that he must pay me compensation as well as cost of repairing Norikoh’s grave,” he said, adding that Amir had paid him a sum of RM5,000.
Saliwa said no one had forced him to withdraw his report over Norikoh’s death.
When the court proceedings resumed at 2pm, counsel Peter Marajin, who holds a watching brief for the victim’s family, told the court that before hearing resumed in the afternoon, he had met with Saliwa outside the court premises in the presence of two other persons.
Marajin said Saliwa told him that the brother of the accused went to see him (Saliwa) and discussed about out-of-court settlement.
He said Saliwa told him that he (Saliwa) wanted a RM100,000 compensation but the family of the accused could not agree with the amount, and offered RM25,000, of which RM5,000 had already been paid to Saliwa.
He said Saliwa also told him that the remaining RM20,000 would be paid to Saliwa upon the termination of the case, but Saliwa needed to write a letter to agree with this settlement and to lodge a report to withdraw the police report on his daughter’s death.
Marajin however contended that Saliwa, who was still in the witness stand, was not telling the truth, and he urged the court to proceed with the trial in favour of justice.
In reply, Raja Zaizul Faridah said the prosecution had no knowledge about the monetary settlement between Saliwa and the accused’s brother.
She said they had called Saliwa to testify and it was the court’s jurisdiction to decide whether the witness was telling the truth or not.
She confirmed that the deputy public prosecutor here had received the police report lodged by Saliwa to withdraw his report on Norikoh’s death.
“But according to procedures, we have to wait for instructions from our headquarters, and so far we have not received any reply from our superiors,” she said, adding that the purpose of calling Saliwa to testify was because the prosecution had received the report lodged by Saliwa.
Meanwhile, the counsel for the accused said that since the report was lodged more than two weeks ago, if Marajin felt that Saliwa’s evidence was false, he should lodge a report regarding the alleged monetary settlement.
Rakbhir said the police report lodged by Saliwa to withdraw his report on Norikoh’s death had also been tendered in court.
Raja Zaizul Faridah, who was assisted by deputy public prosecutor Afzan Abd Kahar, had so far called 24 witnesses since the trial commenced on Feb 7. (BP)
The trial continues today.