PUTRAJAYA, May 2 (Bernama) — The Federal Court here today upheld the death sentence on five men convicted for murder and drug trafficking offences.
Their final appeals were dismissed by three separate five-man panels which were chaired by Chief Judge of Sabah and Sarawak Tan Sri Richard Malanjum, after ruling that evidence against the five were overwhelming and their convictions, safe.
Security guard P. Vellertore, 52, who was sentenced to death by the Johor Bahru High Court on April 7, 2010, when he was found guilty of murdering his three young children, about seven years ago, was one of the five.
He was convicted of the murder of Rudraa Kumar, six, Kesappata, five, and Harini, three, by strangling them at his house in Taman Muhibah, Kulai, Johor between 10.30am and 3.30pm on Nov 20, 2004.
Evidence showed that he strangled them before attempting to hang himself. Vellertore also forced his teenage daughter, Revathy, then 13 years old, to hang herself.
She was rescued by a neighbour who heard her cries for help while Vellertore ended in a coma.
Vellertore was said to have conducted the act out of disappointment and frustration as his wife had left him about two weeks before the incident.
Malanjum said there was no basis to reject the evidence of a psychiatrist who examined Vellertore.
The psychiatrist concluded that although he (Vellertore) was in a state of depression, he was not mentally unsound. She testified that depression could cause a man to kill his children and commit suicide but the person suffering from depression would know the consequences of his act.
The other four men, against whom the death sentence was upheld by the Federal Court, was in respect of two separate drug trafficking cases.
In the first case, debt collector Ong Lock Soon was convicted and sentenced to death by the Shah Alam High Court on Aug 11, 2006 for trafficking in 821.9 grammes of heroin at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport, Sepang at 8.30pm on Feb 28, 2002.
Meanwhile, the other case involved welders Mohd Rizal Masiran, 28, Shuhaizal Shuaib, 33 and Mohd Razip Mohd Ali, 42, who were convicted and sentenced to death by the Ipoh High Court on Nov 11, 2009 for trafficking in 2,710 grammes of cannabis at Taman Klebang Jaya, Chemor, Perak at 8.45 pm on Oct 29, 2002.
All five were unsuccessful in their appeals to the Court of Appeal.