Four teens charged with killing Penang youth

The accused teens face the death penalty if they are convicted of killing an 18-year-old youth.
The accused teens face the death penalty if they are convicted of killing an 18-year-old youth.PHOTO: BERNAMA

GEORGETOWN • With tears and fear in their eyes, four teenage boys, including two minors, have been charged with the murder of an 18-year-old, who was dumped earlier this month in a field with burns and signs of sodomy on his body.

The accused - J. Ragesuthen, 18; S. Gokulan, 18; a youth aged 17 and another aged 16 - face a mandatory death penalty if they are convicted of killing T. Nhaveen between 11pm and midnight on June 9 in Bukit Gelugor, a neighbourhood in Penang.

The four boys were unrepresented when they appeared at a Sessions Court yesterday. Two of them broke down when they saw their relatives, the Malay Mail Online news site reported.

Nhaveen and his friend, 19-year-old T. Previin, were at a burger stall when a row broke out between them and two former schoolmates they had met there.

The dispute led to a group attack from which Previin escaped with eye injuries.

But Nhaveen was later found unconscious, sodomised with an object, with burns on his back and internal bleeding in his head and abdomen. He died last Thursday after being left brain dead from the violent attack.

Penang police said the cause of death was blunt-force trauma to the head, inflicted when he was bludgeoned by five attackers.

The four teenagers were also charged with causing grievous hurt to Previin using helmets.

They did not enter a plea for the murder charge but claimed trial in Previin's case, the New Straits Times reported.

A fifth person, R. Praveen, 18, who was arrested along with the four accused, was released on a bond and would serve as a prosecution witness.

Police said Nhaveen's five attackers were "ultimate juvenile delinquents" with a history of criminal intimidation.

Nhaveen's death came after the death of naval cadet Zulfarhan Osman Zulkarnain, 21, on June 1 after he was allegedly tortured over two days by his fellow university mates over a dispute about a missing laptop.

Five people were charged with murdering Mr Zulfarhan, while another student was charged with abetting the murder.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 20, 2017, with the headline 'Four teens charged with killing Penang youth'. Print Edition | Subscribe