Cop ordered to enter defence over murder of single mum

KOTA KINABALU: The High Court here yesterday ordered a police officer, who was charged with killing a single mother in Keningau seven years ago, to enter his defence on October 8-12.

Deputy registrar of the High Court, Dana Arabi Wazani, set the defence trial for Ahmad Rizal Umar, 37, charged with killing Kartini Borhan, 27, at a rented house at Taman Adika in Keningau between 4 am and 5 am on September 29, 2011.

The alleged offence, under Section 302 of the Penal Code, carries the mandatory death sentence, upon conviction.

Counsel Ram Singh for Ahmad Rizal, said that they would be calling six witnesses to testify in the defence trial.

On March 21, the Federal Court here ordered Ahmad Rizal, who was freed from the said charge four years ago, to enter his defence at the High Court here.

The Federal Court unanimously allowed the prosecution’s appeal against Inspector Ahmad Rizal’s acquittal after it held that the High Court and the Court of Appeal had erred in failing to call Ahmad Rizal to enter his defence.

The justices further held that the lower courts had attached too much weight on the break in the chain of evidence and failed to take into account adequately the cumulative affairs of the circumstantial evidence, namely: That (1) Ahmad Rizal had lodged a false police report as found by the trial judge; (2) there was no sign of any break-in at the deceased’s house; (3) Ahmad Rizal was the last person at the crime scene; (4) photofit as provided by Ahmad Rizal was fabricated; (5) injuries on Ahmad Rizal were not cooperative; and (6) the motive of Ahmad Rizal.

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The court also ordered for the defence to be heard before another judge as the previous trial judge had retired.

On July 22, 2014, the High Court here freed Ahmad Rizal from the said charge without calling for his defence when the judge ruled that the prosecution had failed to establish a prima facie case against Ahmad Rizal
The prosecution subsequently appealed to the Court of Appeal, which, on January 26, 2016, upheld Ahmad Rizal’s acquittal for the alleged murder.

Counsels Rizwandean Bukhari M. Borhan, Aaron Mah and Kimberly Ye also represented Ahmad Rizal.