Saturday, 3 November 2007

The Sun Newspaper Penang October 30, 2007

Concern over 'sensitive' exhibits

Court in momnet of shock when item drops from witness stand.

SHAH ALAM; Thew judge, lawyers, reporters and the public seated in the gallery had of amoment of shock when one of the exhibits dropped from the witness stand.

They had thought that the exhibits, which had been deemed "sensiive' materials, could potentially explode if accidentally hit or dropped.

The exhibits included an electric detonator, a cutting linear charge and a detonator cord.

However, everyone breathe a sigh of relief when the witness, chemist Shaari Desa, bent down and picked up the item

Earlier, presenting the exhibits, DPP Noorin Badaruddin urged the judge, Mohd Zaki Md YassinZake, the court interpreters and lawyers to be careful when examining the items.

As Mohd Zaki took a closer look at the cutting linear charge, Noorin said: "Be careful, don't touch it with your bare hands and don't let it fall, or hit it. These samples are sensiive and can explode if they are hit or if they drop"

Following this when Shaari was identifying some other exhibits, consisting mostly of wire , rubber and plastic strips, one of the packets fell on the wooden witness platform with a loud thud.

After a moment of silence, Shaari continued to identify the item as a blalck rubber strip. Mohd Zaki interrupted him and asked: "Where did you place the 'sensitive items displayed just now?"

Noorin replied that the most 'sensitive ' item was the electric detonator.

"Where did you place it?" Mohd Zaki asked again. He then told the court interpreters to separate the 'sensitive" items fromthe others.

"I'm afraid it may fall if you place it there," Mohd Zaki said and asked that the items be placed on an empty spot on the court interpreters' table.

After Shaari had completed identifying all the items, Mohd Zaki expressed concern over the storage of the "sensitive" items, including a sub machine gun and bullets inthe court storage area.

"We don't have a specail storage area, the court store has all kinds of items in it," he said. Can the police keep the items?"

DPP Tun Abdul Majid Tun Hamzah protested, saying: "No, because this may give rise to accusations of tampering with evidence."

Mohd Zaki turned to Shaari and asked him for his opinion. Shaari replied: "These items are sensitive and can possibily be set off even if a handphone rings, so I suggest you put them in a safety box."

"Do we have a safety box?" Mohd Zaki asked, but the court interpreter shook her head to indicate that the court did no have one.

"Is it okay for the court to keep it?" Mohd Zaki asked Shaari, who replied that he could not give any assurance although nothing had happened so far.

The judge then decided that the items would be retained by the court.

The hearing continues on NOVEMBER THE 5TH.

Bet that court interpreter takes a day off with a headache ......

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