Four teens charged with murder of Nhaveen (Updated)

GEORGE TOWN: Four teens were charged with the murder of T. Nhaveen,18, at the Magistrate's Court here today.

J. Ragesuthan,18, S. Gokulan,18 and the two other boys, aged 16 and 17, were charged with the murder of Nhaveen and they were accused of committing the offence near the Karpal Singh Learning Centre in Bukit Gelugor here between 11pm to 12.30am on July 9.

All the accused appeared calm and nodded their heads when asked by the court interpreter if they understood the charge after it was read.

No plea was recorded from all of the accused who were unrepresented.

The charge comes under Section 302 of the Penal Code for murder and is read together with Section 34 of the same Code where it reads "each of several persons liable for an act done by all, in like manner as if done by him alone".

If convicted, they face the mandatory death penalty.

Deputy Public Prosecutor (DPP) Nurul Fatin Hussain prosecuted the case and did not offer bail as the charge was an unbailable offence.

Magistrate Mohamed Amin Shahul Hamid then set Sept 28 for mention pending the chemist report.

At the Sessions Court earlier, all the accused faced a charge of causing grievous injuries to T. Previin, 19, using helmets at the same time and place.

If guilty for the offence under the Penal Code, they could face a maximum imprisonment for 20 years and be liable to fine, or whipping.

DPP Lim Saw Sim prosecuted while the accused were not represented.

Sessions Court Judge Irwan Suainbon did not allow bail and ordered them to obtain a lawyer from the National Legal Aid Foundation (YBGK).

Irwan also set August 21 for mention.

Earlier, Northeast district police chief ACP Anuar Omar in a statement said another suspect, an 18-year-old youth, was released on bond.

He said the bond was according to Section 118 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CPC) and that the suspect will appear in the case as a prosecution witness.

The mood at the court today was emotional as some of the family members of the accused were seen sobbing and crying while waiting at the court complex.

Outside the court, a relative of one of the accused said the family was humiliated by the allegation of sodomy.

He pointed out the charges were for murder and for causing grievous hurt but nothing on sodomy.

He also said the family have difficulty in finding lawyers to represent them and claimed many declined due to the sodomy allegation.

Another relative of another accused meanwhile said his two school-going children had stopped going to school after the incident was widely reported.