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High Court rejects bid to impeach star witness in Nhaveen case – Free Malaysia Today

GEORGE TOWN: The High Court has turned down an application to impeach a key witness in the T Nhaveen murder case, saying any inconsistencies between the accounts which the witness gave to the police and in court were not serious.
The defence was seeking to impeach T Previin, who testified that he had witnessed Nhaveen being beaten up. Nhaveen later died from a brain injury.
Justice Radzi Abdul Hamid said he found no material differences in Previin’s testimony that warranted impeachment.
“The court’s duty is to ascertain if there was a material contradiction, not small ones or apparent contradictions arising from poor memory or from a simple explanation to the police early on,” the judge said. “I find no serious material contradiction and hence refuse the request to begin impeachment proceedings,” he said.
The application revolved around events in Bukit Gelugor in June 2017 when Nhaveen and Previin had jeered at a group of boys known to them and were later set upon by the group at a bridge near Jalan Kaki Bukit in Bukit Gelugor.
Defence lawyers had raised three questions which they said showed inconsistencies in statements made by Previin and in his testimony.
They questioned whether Previin had witnessed the fight that resulted in Nhaveen’s death and whether Previin was being truthful when identifying who he saw at Padang Openg.
In his initial police report, Previin had said, “They called their friends, and six Indian men came to hit me” while at the trial he had testified that he had seen a group of people in Padang Openg and that among them were Raga, Gokulan, “and a big sized man” and two others who were juveniles at the time.
“They beat up Nhaveen,” he had testified. “At that time, I didn’t know who that man was, but now I know it is Gobi, who is Gokulan’s brother. They were the same people who set upon us at the bridge,” he had testified.
The defence team also challenged Previin’s honesty in naming each of the accused during the hearing, as he had not revealed their identities to the police.
At the trial, Previin had described in detail how each of the accused had beaten up Nhaveen, including how two of them had used helmets to strike him.
Five people have been charged with murder in connection with Nhaveen’s death. They are S Gopinaath, 30, J Ragesuthan, 22, S Gokulan, 22, and two others who were juveniles when the offence took place.
They are accused of committing the offence at the Jalan Bunga Raya park between 11pm and midnight on June 9, 2017. They are also charged with committing grievous assault on Previin near the Karpal Singh Learning Centre in Bukit Gelugor that night.
The hearing continues on Jan 26.
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