Policeman Iskandar Rahmat who was found guilty last year for the murders of car workshop owner Tan Boon Sin (67), and his 42-year-old son Chee Heong, on Wednesday (26 Oct) appealed against his conviction and sentence to the High Court.
Rahmat was sentenced to hanged in December 2015 for the Kovan double murder.
In the Court of Appeal, the three judges reserved judgment after hearing arguments from the convict’s new lawyer, Mr Wendell Wong, and Deputy Public Prosecutor Lee Lit Cheng.
Iskandar, who was facing imminent bankruptcy at the time of the incident, on his trial last year said that he had only planned to rob the older Mr Tan, who had made a police report about a theft from his safe deposit box.
Iskandar had made a complicated plan to steal the remaining money in Mr Tan’s safe deposit box by posing as an intelligence officer conducting an operation to catch the thief.
Carrying out his plan, Iskandar then had persuaded Mr Tan to take out his money and replaced it with a dummy surveillance camera.
Iskandar said that at Mr Tan’s home, the victim had realised that he was being tricked and became angry. Mr Tan then had attacked him with a knife. In response to that, Iskandar seized the weapon and slashed the victim in self defence.
However, the prosecutor said that Iskandar killed both men for the purpose of silencing the two.
At the appeal on Wednesday, Iskandar continued to stress his case on the argument that the elder Mr Tan had attacked him first. It was revealed that Mr Tan had took out at least $600,000 in cash from his safe deposit.
The judges at the appeal were puzzled at how Mr Tan had gone from being comfortable with Iskandar, opening the safe deposit, allowing him into his house, to such a state of rage that he would pick up a knife to attack the police officer.
Observing the sequence of events, they questioned what could had triggered Mr Tan’s suspicions that Iskandar was deceiving him.
Mr Wong urged the court to take a ‘holistic view of all the moving parts in the case’. He argued that Iskandar had not intended to kill in order to rob.
Wong said, “He knew the wages of murder is the capital punishment.”
He also requested to admit two medical reports. One was a psychiatric report stating that Iskandar suffered ‘acute stress reaction and an adjustment disorder’, which qualified him for the defense of diminished responsibility.
And the other was a forensic pathology report stating that the cuts suffered by Iskandar could be defensive injuries.
In reply, DPP Lee said, “It’s a clear case of double murder.” She argued that the multiple injuries on both men bodies showed that the attack had been violent with intent to kill.
The Court of Appeal determined that the decision on the case will be delivered at a later date.