Kallang murder suspect puts blame on co-accused

Micheal said he assumed Tony had hit the Indian national because he heard him shout "serigala".
Micheal said he assumed Tony had hit the Indian national because he heard him shout "serigala".

He claims he was not alone in slashing victim in Kallang case

He was the one armed with a parang when a group of four men went on a violent robbery spree in Kallang three years ago, leaving an Indian national dead.

But 25-year-old Micheal Garing shifted the blame for the fatal slashing to co-accused Tony Imba, 34, when taking the stand on Tuesday.

Micheal, Tony and two accomplices, all from Sarawak, attacked and robbed four men between the night of May 29 and the early hours of May 30 in 2010. One accomplice, Hairee Landak, 22, is serving 33 years in prison. The other, Donny Meluda, also 22, is at large.

On Tuesday, Micheal admitted that he was the only one who attacked the first three victims with a parang. But just as he had told the police after his arrest, he implicated Tony in the death of 41-year-old Shanmuganathan Dillidurai, a construction worker from India.

Micheal testified that the group was at a friend's place in Geylang when he found a parang - 58cm long with a blade measuring 46.5cm - belonging to someone named "Boy" at one of the beds there and showed it to the rest.

He told the court it was Tony who came up with the idea of committing robbery and was also the one who initiated the attacks on all the four victims.

In the first three robberies - on Indian nationals Sandeep Singh, 27, and Egan Karuppaiah, 46, and Singaporean Ang Jun Heng, 22 - Micheal admitted that he was the only one who used the parang on them, claiming it was to "defend" his accomplices when the victims retaliated.

But he insisted he was not alone in slashing Mr Shanmuganathan, who suffered 20 external injuries. Micheal said he swung the parang at the Indian national only three times - once above his head to scare him, and then once each to the left arm and back.

He said that after they left the scene of the robbery, Tony snatched the parang from him and went back to the field where the Indian national was lying. Micheal said he did not see what Tony was doing. Neither did he ask Tony later what he had done.

Tony's lawyer, Mr B.J. Lean, put it to Micheal that he alone had slashed the dead man and was lying about Tony taking the parang from him. Mr Lean contended Micheal decided to put the blame on Tony to save himself as he knew the last victim had died in the attack.

Micheal disagreed.

The lawyer said that when the two accomplices met in prison, Tony had asked Micheal why he implicated him for the slashings. According to the lawyer, Micheal replied that he thought Tony had run away.

Micheal also denied this.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Anandan Bala pointed Micheal to a statement he gave to the police after his arrest in June 2010. In it, he said Tony snatched the parang from him and hit Mr Shanmuganathan. The DPP asked him to explain why he told police earlier that he saw Tony hit the dead man.

Micheal replied he assumed Tony had hit the Indian national because he heard him shout "serigala", or wolf in the Malay language. He did not elaborate.

The trial continues.

selinal@sph.com.sg