Kovan double murder: Suspect to claim trial

Iskandar will undergo psychiatric evaluation and has told his lawyers he will be claiming trial.
Iskandar will undergo psychiatric evaluation and has told his lawyers he will be claiming trial. ST FILE PHOTO

The police officer accused of the Kovan double murder made a surprise appearance yesterday in court, where it was agreed that he will undergo psychiatric evaluation.

Senior staff sergeant Iskandar Rahmat, who was arrested in Johor Baru two weeks ago after a 54-hour manhunt, has also told his lawyers that he wants to claim trial to all charges against him.

The 34-year-old - who had been remanded at Central Police Station - was due to appear in court next Monday. But this was brought forward when police concluded their investigations into the case.

Yesterday, the prosecution applied for Iskandar to be remanded at the Changi Prison Complex Medical Centre for psychiatric evaluation.

His legal team, led by Mr Ferlin Jayatissa, did not object.

Mr Jayatissa, who is assisted by Mr Rudy Marican and Ms N. Sudha Nair, added that he was appreciative that access to Iskandar had been facilitated by the investigation team.

"Given the nature of the charge and the possible exceptions to it, the defence has no objections to the necessary and appropriate step in the ongoing investigation," he said.

Iskandar was charged on Monday last week with the murder of car workshop owner Tan Boon Sin, 66, and his son at Hillside Drive on July 10.

The son, businessman Tan Chee Heong, 42, reportedly staggered from the house, bleeding profusely from his neck.

He was then dragged for nearly 1km by the family's Toyota Camry before the body was dislodged near Kovan MRT station. His father was also found with fatal stab wounds at the terraced house.

Iskandar, a 14-year police veteran, asked through a Malay interpreter yesterday if he could speak to his lawyer.

As the prosecution did not object, District Judge Kessler Soh allowed Mr Jayatissa to speak to his client.

A day earlier, the accused also met his lawyers at the Police Cantonment Complex.

Mr Marican told The Straits Times: "Our client has given us clear instruction that he will be claiming trial to all the charges on which he has been indicted."

Iskandar will appear via video-link when the case is mentioned next on Aug 16.

If convicted of murder, he faces the death penalty.


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