Fewer witnesses taking the stand

Murder suspect Iskandar Rahmat was caught after a 54-hour manhunt.
Murder suspect Iskandar Rahmat was caught after a 54-hour manhunt.

The Kovan double murder trial might be shorter than expected, as the number of witnesses taking the stand has been significantly reduced from 102 to about 15.

The trial, which is presided over by Justice Tay Yong Kwang, is scheduled over two periods - from Oct 20 to 30 this year, and from March 29 to April 8 next year. The defence has agreed to not cross-examine formal witnesses and those whose evidence is not in dispute.

Formal witnesses refer to people such as recording officers who collected evidence at the crime scene, while witnesses in the second group include those who saw a body being dragged by a silver Toyota Camry on July 10, 2013.

At about 3.30pm that day, dozens of people were shocked to see the Camry dragging Mr Tan Chee Heong's body down Hillside Drive and Upper Serangoon Road. The body of Mr Tan, 42, left a 1km trail of blood before being dislodged just outside Kovan MRT station.

The blood trail led to the body of his father, Mr Tan Boon Sin, 67, inside the elder Mr Tan's terraced house in Hillside Drive.

The murder suspect, police officer Iskandar Rahmat, 36, later abandoned the bloodied car in Eunos before fleeing to Johor Baru on his scooter.

He was caught two days later at a popular eatery in Danga Bay after a 54-hour manhunt, and extradited the following day.

Jasmine Osada

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 21, 2015, with the headline 'Fewer witnesses taking the stand'. Print Edition | Subscribe