ALTHOUGH he was past retirement age, Dr T. Ariaratnam kept his medical practice at his clinic, the Arinaga Medical Centre in Bangsar, Kuala Lumpur.
On April 21, 2003, the 66-year-old was on duty on the graveyard shift with two clinic assistants, both Indian nationals.
It was all quiet in the wee hours until three young men stepped into the clinic at about 4am.
Armed with a parang, they barged into Ariaratnam’s room to rob the doctor and steal medicines, namely cough mixture.
Intimidated by their aggression and fearing for his life, one assistant fled.
The robbers panicked and retaliated by slashing Ariaratnam and the other assistant.
While Ariaratnam slumped on his chair, his assistant suffered a slash wound to his head but managed to run out of the clinic. The robbers pursued him but gave up after a short chase and fled in a car empty-handed.
Several residents from the row of shophouses, who were awakened by the commotion, went to the clinic assistant’s aid before sending him to a hospital.
When police arrived, they found Ariaratnam dead with multiple slash wounds to his head in the blood-splattered clinic.
A blood-stained parang was also found not far from the clinic.
In the following days, several youths, including the son of a VIP, were arrested and investigated for the murder.
Three weeks later, three close friends were charged in court with the killing of Ariaratnam.
College student Nor Adzlan Idris, then aged 20 and a son of ex-Federal Territory deputy minister and former Parit Buntar member of Parliament Tan Sri Idris Abdul Rauf, was charged for the crime, together with 20-year-old Choy Chin Chuan and 22-year-old Lee Jun Ho, both of whom were jobless at the time.
The trio pleaded not guilty and claimed trial.
In November 2008, the Kuala Lumpur High Court acquitted all three suspects without calling for their defence.
Former attorney-general Tan Sri Mohamed Apandi Ali, who was at the time the High Court presiding judge, ruled that the prosecution’s case was riddled with flaws, one of which was the absence of statements from both the clinic assistants, who were key witnesses in the case.
The prosecution appealed against the verdict but the appellate court upheld the High Court’s decision. The case remains unsolved till this day.
Read this story in theSun’s iPaper:
Slashed to death in botched pre-dawn robbery