7 charged over attack on restaurant owner

Six men were charged in court yesterday over the slashing of a restaurant owner in a business dispute, while a seventh was accused of threatening him.

Joshua Navindran Surainthiran, 22, Joel Giritharan Surainthiran, 24, and Ramge Visvamnathan, 19, allegedly slashed Mr Liakath Ali's face with a knife, disfiguring the 52-year-old's face.

The incident occurred in Arab Street at about 10pm on Aug 26.

Two other Singaporeans - businessman Zackeer Abbass Khan, 45, and Anwer Ambiya Kadir Maideen, 46 - together with Indian national Koleth Navas, 29, are alleged to have abetted in a conspiracy to cause grievous hurt to Mr Liakath between Aug 22 and 26.

The seventh man, Indian national Koleth Abdul Nasir, 41, allegedly threatened Mr Liakath outside Singapore Zam Zam restaurant on North Bridge Road at 8.40pm on Aug 22. He is said to have uttered: "Last time we should do you but you escaped; but this time round, we will do you; you watch out."

The prosecution applied successfully to remand all seven for a week. The court gave permission for the accused to be taken out to assist in investigations. They are believed to be involved in other cases.

Khan's lawyer Sarbrinder Singh tried to ask for bail for his client, who runs his own restaurant. He said his client, who was arrested on Monday, was not involved in the conspiracy with the other co-accused in the knife attack.

A police statement said preliminary investigations showed that the incident arose from a business dispute. The seven will be back in court next Wednesday. The maximum penalty for causing grievous hurt with a dangerous weapon is 15 years' jail, fine or caning. Anyone convicted of criminal intimidation may be jailed for up to seven years, or fined, or both.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 24, 2015, with the headline '7 charged over attack on restaurant owner'. Print Edition | Subscribe