On July 10, 2013, the suburban neighbourhood of Kovan was shaken by a grisly crime.
The body of a 42-year-old man was found on the road outside Kovan MRT station with a 1km-long blood trail that led to the discovery of another body in a house.
It sparked a 54-hour manhunt that ended when the murder suspect, a former police officer, was arrested in Johor two days later.
With the murder trial set to begin in the High Court tomorrow, ELIZABETH LAW ([email protected]) looks back at the drama and intrigue of the case.
The body of Mr Tan Chee Heong, the director of an electronics products company, was found at a taxi stand outside Kovan MRT.
It had been dragged about 1km, leaving behind it a blood trail that led to his father’s house at 14J, Hillside Drive.
At the house, police officers discovered the body of car workshop owner Tan Boon Sin.
His car, a Toyota Camry with the number plate SGM 14J – the family house number – was missing.
The suspect was established to be police officer Iskandar Rahmat, 34, who had handled a police report the elder Mr Tan had made in 2012 about a theft from his safe deposit box.
At the time of the killings, Iskandar had been put on administrative duty.
The stolen car was found the next day at a parking lot in Eunos. By then, Iskandar had fled to Johor.
He was arrested by Malaysian police on the night of July 12 at a restaurant in Danga Bay.
Iskandar was charged with the double murders on July 15, 2013, and faces the death penalty. He has claimed trial to both charges.
Two tranches have been set for the trial. The first part starts tomorrow and will go on till Oct 30. The trial will break and continue in April next year.
The prosecution team is led by Senior State Counsel Lau Wing Yum.
There will be 102 prosecution witnesses.
Those testifying in the first tranche include eyewitnesses and police officers, some of whom have worked with Iskandar.
Shin Min Daily News had reported that American forensic scientist Henry Lee, who did post-Sept 11 forensic investigations and has worked on cases like the O.J. Simpson trial and the assassination attempt on former Taiwanese president Chen Shui-bian, would be a witness.
Iskandar, now 36, is represented by a team of six lawyers under the Legal Assistance Scheme for Capital Offences.
Led by veteran lawyer Shashi Nathan, the team includes Ms Tania Chin and Mr Jeremy Pereira of KhattarWong; Mr Rajan Supramaniam of Hilbourne and Co; and Mr Ferlin Jayatissa and Ms Sudha Nair of Lexcompass.
Mr Nathan told The New Paper that over the last two weeks, the team has been making daily visits to Iskandar in Changi Prison.
“He is very concerned about his trial though as an ex-police officer, he is familiar with the procedure and knows what to expect,” Mr Nathan said, adding that his client has been doing a lot of reading on his own to prepare for the trial.
Mr Nathan is arranging for his own forensics expert to testify. The expert testimonies are likely to take place during the second tranche.
There will be one final pre-trial conference today in the High Court before the trial begins tomorrow.