Kovan double murder: Apex court reserves judgment on accused's appeal

Iskandar Rahmat, who was found guilty of murdering a car workshop owner and his son, has appealed against his conviction and sentence on Wednesday (Oct 26). PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - Policeman Iskandar Rahmat who was sentenced to hang last December for the Kovan double murder, appealed against his conviction and sentence on Wednesday (Oct 26).

A three-judge Court of Appeal reserved judgment after hearing arguments from his new lawyer, Mr Wendell Wong, and Deputy Public Prosecutor Lee Lit Cheng.

Iskandar, 37, was found guilty last year of the murders of car workshop owner Tan Boon Sin, 67, and his 42-year-old son Chee Heong.

After killing them on the afternoon of July 10, 2013, at the older man's Hillside Drive house, Iskandar escaped in his victim's Toyota Camry.

Chee Heong's body was caught under his father's car and dragged for a kilometre to Kovan MRT station, leaving a trail of blood as motorists watched in shock.

During his trial last year, Iskandar, who was facing imminent bankruptcy, said that he only planned to rob the older Mr Tan, who had made a police report about a theft from his Certis Cisco safe deposit box.

Iskandar hatched an elaborate plot to steal the money that remained in the safe deposit box by posing as an intelligence officer conducting a sting operation to catch the thief. He persuaded Mr Tan to take out his money and replace it with a dummy surveillance camera.

Iskandar claimed that at Mr Tan's home, the victim realised he was being tricked, became angry and attacked him with a knife. So he grabbed the weapon and slashed the victim in self defence.

But the prosecution said Iskandar killed both men to silence them.

At his appeal on Wednesday, Iskandar continued to anchor his case on the contention that the elder Mr Tan had attacked him first. It was also revealed that Mr Tan took out at least $600,000 in cash from his safe deposit.

But the appeal judges questioned how Mr Tan went from being comfortable with Iskandar, allowing him into his house, to such a state of rage that he would pick up a knife to attack the police officer. Examining the sequence of events, they questioned what could have triggered Mr Tan's suspicions that Iskandar was duping him.

Mr Wong urged the court to take a "holistic view" of "all the moving parts in the case". He argued that Iskandar did not intend to kill in order to rob. "He knew the wages of murder is the capital punishment."

He also sought to admit two medical reports. One was a psychiatric report stating that Iskandar suffered acute stress reaction and an adjustment disorder, which qualified him for the defence of diminished responsibility. The other was a forensic pathology report saying that the cuts suffered by Iskandar could be defensive injuries.

But DPP Lee said: "It's a clear case of double murder." She argued that the multiple injuries suffered by both men showed that the attack was ferocious and intended to kill.

A decision on the case will be delivered at a later date.

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