Monday, October 29, 2007

MORE PICS – Day 52 & 53 Altantuya Murder Trial; Day 52- The Forgetful Seargent who was not sure; Day 53 – 40th Witness Opened & Marked the 69 Exhibits

Malaysiakini has not covered the Altantuya Murder Trial for sometime now, but it it is on in Day 53 and once again for obscure reason it is resuming again in 1 weeks time on 5th November 07. Meanwhile the latest from Malaysiakini is
Protesters hand over memo to panel Beh Lih Yi | Oct 29, 07 8:16pm and
PAC: Arrest decision-makers too Syed Jaymal Zahiid | Oct 29, 07 7:50pm with the still On Ops Lalang: Pengalaman bekas wartawan Watan

ABOVE: Abdul Razak Baginda on Day 52 Trial and BELOW: with the two hooded accused

Day 52 Trial – Oct 25th 07

Confusion, cop admits being careless
Maria J. Dass, theSun

DAY 52

SHAH ALAM (Oct 25, 2007): Confusion reigned in the Altantuya Shaariibuu murder trial today when several differing dates of a seizure were mentioned by the prosecution’s 45 witness Sgt Amran Abdul Aziz (ABOVE) from the Kuala Lumpur Special Action Squad (UTK) division.

Amran who was attached to the Kuala Lumpur Police Contingent Headquarters D9 division prior to being transferred to UTK last March was assigned by ASP Zulkarnain Samsudin to obtain three CCTV recordings dated Oct 9, Oct 18 and Oct 19, 2006, and one guest folio from Hotel Malaya on Nov 10 last year. He said he had stored the items in a cupboard in his office and handed these to investigating officer ASP Tonny Lunggan the next day. The three differing dates which showed up during the trial were Nov 6, 10 and 11 of 2006.Amran, 40, also named Hotel Malaya operations manager whom he met to obtain the tapes and folio as Jimmy Choo (shoe designer and maker) instead of Jimmy Loo (Mow Chan).

Two of the three tapes had been labelled with the dates Nov 6, 2006, indicating that they had been seized on Nov 6. Questioned by DPP Manoj Kurup on why he had written Nov 6, 2006, on the tapes when he had only obtained the items on Nov 10, 2006, Amran said: "It must be my carelessness." He said he did not know the significance of Nov 6 and was not sure why he wrote that down.Judge Mohd Zaki Md Yasin then asked Amran: "Did you go to Hotel Malaya on Nov 6?" "No, it was a mistake," replied Amran.

Mohd Zaki: Did you take it (the tapes) on Nov 6?
Amran: I’m not sure.
Mohd Zaki: (Nov 6 is) possibly a mistake?

Amran: Possibly.
Amran agreed that he had collected all three tapes and the guest folio on the same day (Nov 10).
He was then quizzed as to why the submission form for these items was dated Nov 10 when he had informed the court that he handed these over to Tonny on Nov 11.
"It’s a mistake," said Amran adding that he had informed Tonny of some mistakes in the form after he had submitted it.

Manoj then asked: "What did your investigation diary say."
"It states Nov 10 as the day I handed over the items to Tonny," replied Amran.
He then stressed that the date of submission of the items to Tonny was Nov 11.
"How can you be sure of this?" asked Manoj. "I’m sure because I remember getting instructions from ASP Zulkarnain to store the tapes as he was not around at that time and the next day (Nov 11) he told me to hand the items over to Tonny," said Amran.
Later during re-examination, Amran told the court that the three tapes that he handed over to Tonny were the tapes he seized from Hotel Malaya and not any other tapes.
Earlier during cross examination Azilah’s lawyer Hazman Ahmad pointed out that Amran had failed to mention in entry 25 of his investigation diary that he had submitted the guest folio to Tonny. He said Amran had failed to mention what tapes he had submitted to Tonny and only referred to these as "tape tersebut" (those tapes).
Amran also agreed that the investigation diary that he had submitted to court was not the same one he submitted to Tonny. The copy that he submitted to Tonny was without any markings as compared to the one presented in court.


* Dr Zainal Effendy Zainal Zainal Abdidin, formerly with Kuala Lumpur Hospital’s (HKL) Emergency Department, testified.
* Sgt Mohd Saad Kimbok, of the
Kuala Lumpur police serious crimes division (D9), testified
* Sgt Amran Abdul Aziz, of the KL Special Action Squad testified

Hearing continues on Monday (Oct 29).

= == = =from STAR Friday October 26, 2007
DAY 52 - Altantuya murder case: Cop leaves them guessing

SHAH ALAM: It was a guessing game when three dates popped up during a sergeant’s testimony about the handing over of some evidence to the investigating officer in the Altantuya Shaariibuu case. Sjn Amran Ab Aziz, the 45th prosecution witness, said he received instructions to pick up three closed-circuit television recordings and a guest folio from Hotel Malaya (where the deceased had stayed prior to her death) on Nov 10 last year.

"I’m sure I handed the tapes and folio over on Nov 11" - SJN AMRAN AB AZIZ

The instructions, he said, came from Asst Supt Zulkarnain Samsudin, his then superior at the Kuala Lumpur police contingent headquarters’ serious crimes division (D9). Sjn Amran, now attached to the Unit Tindakan Khas (Special Action Squad) in Bukit Aman, said during examination-in-chief that he signed on the tapes and dated them Nov 11 because that was the day he handed over the tapes and the folio to investigating officer Asst Supt Tonny Lunggan.

However, when DPP Manoj Kurup pointed out that one of the tapes was dated Nov 6, the witness could not explain himself.
Maybe it was out of carelessness,” he said on Day 52 of the trial.
The next anomaly came when Sjn Amran, 40, was asked to refer to the handover form for the three tapes and guest folio, which was dated Nov 10 underneath his signature as well as that of ASP Tonny’s. Again, the witness said this could have been a mistake on his part, saying he was the one who signed first and that ASP Tonny could have repeated his error. When DPP Manoj asked him to refer to his investigations diary about the matter, Sjn Amran came up with the same date – Nov 10. However, the witness maintained that this was also an error as he made the entry in his diary based on the handover form.
“I’m sure I handed the tapes and folio over on Nov 11 because when I got back to the office on Nov 10, ASP Zulkarnain was not around. “He asked me to hold on to the items so I kept them in my cupboard before joining another team for a different case,” he said. The witness said he handed them over to ASP Tonny the following day on ASP Zulkarnain’s orders. During cross-examination, Ahmad Zaidi Zainal, counsel for Kpl Sirul Azhar Umar, pointed out that there was another tape that was marked Nov 6. “So there are two tapes marked Nov 6?” Ahmad Zaidi asked.
“Yes,” Sjn Amran replied.
The witness agreed with the lawyer’s contention that there were now three versions on the date the items were handed over to ASP Tonny based on the tapes, his diary and the handover form. Re-examined by DPP Manoj, Sjn Amran insisted that he handed over the items to ASP Tonny on Nov 11 although he could not explain why two of the tapes were marked Nov 6.
Earlier, Dr Zainal Effendy Zainal Abidin, 36, testified that he took blood samples from the three accused - C/Insp Azilah Hadri, Kpl Sirul Azhar and Abdul Razak Baginda - as well as L/Kpl Rohaniza Roslan on Nov 10 last year at the
Kuala Lumpur Hospital. Sjn Mohd Saad Kimbok, 49, confirmed that he escorted the four, who were then suspects in the case, on that day with nine other policemen.

= == = == from Bernama, Below, The Shah Alam Court on Day 53

DAY 53 Trial

The 53rd day proceedings of the trial kicked off with the testimony of 40th prosecution witness, chemist Shaari Desa Shaari (ABOVE) , (fell ill with suspected dengue fever) the firearms and tool marks unit chief in the criminalistic section of the forensics division, of the PJ Chemical Department who confirmed receiving 69 exhibits.

All the exhibits in 61 envelopes and 1 parcel were opened & marked as exhibits in court today. Most of the items were placed in small bottles filled with cotton swaps and specimens of explosives. The exhibits consist of among others strands of hair, explosives, bone fragments, soil, wire strips and plastic strips vehicle tire strips.The witness was also told to explain his analysis on the explosives Earlier the witness said he was responsible for analyzing and preparing a report on cases involving firearms, arson and tracing materials and accidents Shaari Desa Shaari said all the exhibits were received from ASP Tong Longn the investigating officer 2006

ABOVE: Abdul Razak and the 2 hooded accused on Day 53 trial and BELOW: The denfence lawyers

The trial continues on 5th Nov 2007

= == = == == = == = == = ==

Summary from theSUN

DAY 53 Trial

Key witness falls ill

PETALING JAYA (Oct 29, 2007): The Altantuya murder trial was temporarily derailed early last week when a key prosecution witness, chemist Shaari Desa Shaari, the firearms and tool marks unit chief in the criminalistic section of the forensics division, fell ill with suspected dengue fever. Shaari, the prosecution’s 40th witness, was to introduce the contents of 69 envelopes and a parcel containing firearms, explosives, live bullets and casings and soil samples collected from the scene of the alleged crime.

However, after a half-day postponment, the trial continued with the recall of forensic division director J. Primulapathi to clarify the defence’s concerns as to the possibility of DNA recovered from the scene being corrupted.The prosecution later called police forensics crime scene investigator Supt Soo Mee Tong, who had led the police team which examined a Suzuki four-wheel-drive vehicle belonging to Cpl Sirul Azhar Umar.Later in the week, Dr Zainal Effendy Zainal Abdidin, formerly with Kuala Lumpur Hospital, and two policemen – Sgt Mohd Saad Kimbok of the Kuala Lumpur serious crimes division and Sgt Amran Abdul Aziz of the Special Action Squad – took the stand. There was no hearing on Friday and the hearing continues today, but will take a week-long break from tomorrow. The proceedings are tentatively scheduled to resume from Nov 5 to 7, on Nov 16 and 20, and Nov 26 to 28.

Day 49 (Oct 22): The morning session was postponed after the court was told Shaari was indisposed and may not be able to testify for at least a week. Primulapathi who was recalled told the court he did not conduct a mutation study on the bone and tissue samples obtained from the crime scene to see if they were mutated. He however stated that from his experience, he did not think they were exposed to nuclear radiation or prolonged ultraviolet rays which could have caused them to be mutated.

Day 50 (Oct 23): Soo told the court of 13 items retrieved from a Suzuki four-wheel-drive belonging to Sirul Azhar. They include soil found on the front tyres, a steering wheel cover, a bloodied copy of the Utusan Malaysia dated Sept 14, 2006 and blood-stained rubber slippers. The court also heard that a 9mm SME 06 bullet shell, sweat swab from the door handle, a strand of hair which was found in a passenger seat and other copies of newspapers were also seized for investigations. The greyish-blue vehicle, Soo said, was checked by the CSI team on Nov 9, last year, after a request by investigating officer ASP Tonny Lunggan about 11am on Nov 8.

Day 51 (Oct 24): Soo tells the court that forensic tests were conducted on the jeep after it was moved from its original location.He agreed to a suggestion by defence counsel Hasnul Rezua Merican who co-represents Sirul Azhar that he was unable to ascertain if the contents were contaminated. Soo also had a heated exchange with C/Insp Azilah Hadri’s lawyer Hazman Ahmad over some clothing found in the back portion of Sirul Azhar’s Suzuki jeep. Hazman held that Soo’s failure to remove the clothing for tests had eliminated proof that someone else may have used the vehicle.

Day 52 (Oct 25): The court was held in confusion when several differing dates of a seizure arose during the testimony of the prosecution’s 45th witness Sgt Amran Abdul Aziz, 40, of the KL Special Action Squad (UTK).Amran had ostensibly been tasked to obtain three CCTV recordings dated Oct 9, 18 and 29, 2006 and a guest folio from Hotel Malaya on Nov 10, 2006, but two of the three tapes had been labelled with the date Nov 6, 2006, indicating they were seized on Nov 6. Asked to explain the discrepancies, Amran told the court it must have been due to his carelessness, and that he did not know the significance of the date Nov 6.Earlier, Dr Zainal Effendy and Sgt Mohd Saad told the court that blood samples were drawn from the three accused men and a policewoman on Nov 10.

= == = == =from Singapore this is MORE interesting

DAY 1 - Snake Woman Botched Exorcism (from spirit of 'dead soldier from Nee Soon camp') Sue Novena Church

Oct 24, 2007

Woman in exocism suit was 'slithering like snake, screaming like Satan' : Defence lawyer

By Jermyn Chow

Madam Amutha Valli, 50, was unwell and would only be able to attend the hearing next week. The woman at the centre of the exorcism suit against Novena Church was 'slithering like a snake, shouting and screaming like Satan and marching like a soldier,' a defence lawyer told the High Court at the start of the trial on Wednesday morning. Another defence counsel said Madam Amutha Valli, 50 (ABOVE), who is seeking damages for what she claimed was a forced exorcism on her, said she is a alcoholic. These startling revelations were made at the opening of the hearing in the High Court on Wednesday morning to determine if the Catholic priests had performed an exorcism ritual on Madam Amutha at the Novena Church (BELOW) in Thomson Road three years ago.

Madam Valli was not in court. Her lawyers said she was unwell and would only be able to attend the hearing next week. The private tutor and mother of two is alleging that she was held for about 2 1/2 hours in a room at the well-known Catholic church. She is seeking damages, claiming she was confined and subjected to what she believes were rites of exorcism on the night of Aug 10, 2004.

Sues Redemptorist Order

The former national walker is suing the Redemptorist Order, which runs Novena Church, two priests and seven others for damages for loss of earnings and future medical expenses. In her court documents, she claims she was abused, strangled, pinned down and asked repeatedly to identify herself. She claims the experience left her traumatised and unable to work, and that she has suffered relapses in her mental state, needing continuing medical attention. The defendants have denied her claims. They say her family members had consented to a prayer session being held for her and that she was possessed.

Mr Raghbir Singh Bajwa, who is representing Madam Valli together with Mr Raj Shergill and Ms Anuradha Tiwary, said in his opening statement that the case was "not an attack on the religion." 'We are not saying that the defendants acted with malice or wicked intentions,' said Mr Bajwa. 'They may want to help the plaintiff. But what they did they should not have done... they have caused damage to her.' 'They had a duty of care and they breached that duty of care.'

'An unbelievable story'

Mr Tito Isaac, who is representing Father Simon Tan and the Redemptorist Order, described the plaintiff's claims as 'an unbelievable story', and said the defence would prove that they were not true. In his opening remarks, Mr Isaac said Madam Valli was diagnosed with psychiatric disorder when she was treated at the National University Hospital from 1986 to 1989, and that her medical condition stretched back 25 years ago. He said she hid this fact from NUH doctors who had difficulty getting a full disclosure from her. Mr Issac said that he would produce witnesses to show that 'she was rattling the gates, slithering like a snake, shouting and screaming like Satan with a man's voice and marching like a soldier' on the night' when the priests and the other defendants went to her help that night at a family member's behest.

'Incredible story'

Senior Counsel Jimmy Yim, who is defending Father Jacob Ong, the other priest, also described Madam Valli's allegations as an 'incredible story', and 'a well-hatched up scam'. Mr Anthony Lee, who is representing the other defendents with Mr Denis Tan, said the diagnosis of Madam Valli was 'erroneous' because proper medical practices were not followed. Mr Lee said he would also establish that the plaintiff was an alcoholic and sought treatment for alcohol abuse at the Institute of Mental Health. He charged that she drank a bottle of gin a day. The first witness to take the stand was Madam Valli's daughter, Ms Subashini Jayabel, 22, a student at PSB Academy.Under cross-examination by Mr Issa, who showed her medical reports from IMH and NUH, she said she could not believe that the woman mentioned in the reports was her mother. 'She was the fittest woman I ever knew. You should see her on the track,' said Ms Jayabel, who said her mother was their training coach.

Hearing continues in the afternoon. Oct 24, 2007

Woman in exorcism suit hid long psychiatric history: defence lawyer

If she had told doctors and priests, more appropriate medical assistance could have been rendered. MADAM Amutha Valli, 50, who is at the centre of the exorcism suit against Novena Church, did not tell the priests who came her help of her long medical history of mental disability, which her family members knew about, said a defence lawyer at the opening of the trial on Wednesday morning. Senior Counsel Jimmy Yim, who is defending Father Jacob Ong, one of the 10 defendants being sued by Madam Valli, dismissed her allegations as an 'incredible story', and 'a well-hatched up scam'. In his opening statement, Mr Yim dwelled at length on Madam Valli's pcychiatric history, culled from reports by doctors at National University Hospital where she had been seeing since 1986. '

If the plaintiff's family, who were in the best position to assess the plaintiff's condition knowing her past medical and psychiatric history, had formed the view that medical assistance would have been more appropriate in the circumstances, they coud and should have brought her to Tan Tock Seng Hospital, which is no more than several hundred metres away from the Church,' he told the court. 'The plaintiff has a long medical and psychiatric history of mental disability which the family members knew about but which was not mentioned to the defendants at anytime that night.' Mr Yim submitted that Madam Valli's past medical history would reveal that she had exhibited certain physical and psychological symptoms before the incident in Novena Church on the night of Aug 10, 2004. He said these symptoms included dissociative trance disorder, depression, insomnia, anxiety, suicidal thoughts and work stress, which Madam Valli had claimed she experience on Aug 10. He contended that the attribution of these symptoms to her post-traumatic stress disorder was 'clearly untenable' as they predated the Aug 10 incident.

Family consented

Counsel stressed that it was Madam Valli's family who had sought prayer and assistance for her from the two priests, Father Simon Tan and Father Jacob Ong on that night. According to Father Jacob's account, Madam Valli's son had approached him and told him that she was 'possessed and acting in a suicidal manner' in the right wing of the church and pleaded for his help. When Father Jacob went to the scene, he saw her lying on the floor and 'moving in a snake-like manner and also witnessed her marching about in a rigid fashion.' Madam Valli's 'brother', who was around, also told the priest that she was 'possessed by the spirit of a soldier and anxiously repeated the earlier request for prayer and assistance,' said Mr Yim.

Counsel also said that both Father Simon and Father Jacob had a totally different accounts of what happened inside the room. Their version: The two priests acceded to the family's request and 'began praying spontaneously seeking God's protection and blessing' for Madam Valli. 'The plaintiff then began shouting incoherently with her arms moving in a violent manner and was kicking her legs about,' said Counsel Yim. 'Upon seeing this, the plaintiff's 'brother' and the plaintiff's daughter forcibly restrained her.' 'They held down her arms and hands and continued to restrain the plaintiff for some 15 minutes.' 'This was the first time that the plaintiff had been physically restrained that night and was restrained by her own family members.' Mr Yim said the plaintiff's family continued to stay in the room while Father Simon stepped out to get help from other parishioners because Madam Valli's 'brother' and daughter 'appeared visibly exhausted' after restraining her. The other six defendants came into the room on Father Simon's request.

The priest then asked Madam Valli's family members to step outside. And they did 'without any protest whatsoever,' said counsel, adding that Madam Valli also did not ask to leave the room with her family. Mr Yim also rebutted Madam Valli's allegations that she was possessed while in the room and an exorcism had to be done; that she was prevented from leaving the room, pinned to the floor by some of the helpers, barred from seeing her family members and was denied her request for an ambulance. She also claimed that Father Simon had pinned a cross on her right hand and placed a 'white item' in her mouth, and further alleged that a Malay-looking man had strangled her. Differing, this is Father Jacob's version: 'He first began by blessing the room and those in it. The plaintiff's family was present and did not object to it.'

Father Jacob did sprinkle holy water at her and at parts of the room but did not 'splash' water on her. There was no request from Madam Valli to stop the prayers. She was only restrained when she acted in an aggressive and violent manner. 'This restraint was necessary to prevent her from hurting herself and those around her in the room,' said Mr Yim, who added that Madam Valli was never prevented from leaving the room and neither did she indicate she wanted to. Counsel also contended that she was never prevented from using the toilet. Three of the woman defendants accompanied her to the toilet for her safety, he said.

Psychiatric history

Turning to the Madam Valli's psychiatric history, he told the court that she had been seeing doctors at NUH long before the Aug 10 incident. A large part of her medical history is recorded at NUH, where she has been seeking treatment since 1986. Counsel said from the discovery exercise, it was clear that Madam Valli had concealed and suppressed this material information from the defendants' lawyers and her doctors.

Madam Valli was not in court on Wednesday morning. Her lawyers said she was unwell and would only be able to attend the hearing next week. The private tutor and mother of two is alleging that she was held for about 2 1/2 hours in a room at the well-known Catholic church. She is seeking damages, claiming she was confined and subjected to what she believes were rites of exorcism on the night of Aug 10, 2004. The former national walker is suing the Redemptorist Order, which runs Novena Church, two priests and seven others for damages for loss of earnings and future medical expenses. In her court documents, she claims she was abused, strangled, pinned down and asked repeatedly to identify herself. She claims the experience left her traumatised and unable to work, and that she has suffered relapses in her mental state, needing continuing medical attention. Hearing continues on Thursday.
= = == =

I drank Adrian Lim's blood: Madam Valli's medical case notes

She was an alcoholic, took drugs and had been suffering from a whole host of psychiatric problems since 1989. But Madam Amutha Valli, 50, kept mum about her medical history, and had even implored her past doctors not to reveal the truth, the High Court was told on Wednesday, at the start of the hearing into the exorcism rites she had alleged were forced on her by priests of Novena Church three years ago.In their opening statements, defence lawyers for the two priests and seven other defendants who are being sued by Madam Valli, presented hospital records of National University Hospital, Tan Tock Seng Hospital and Institute of Mental Health where she had been receiving treatment for her mental disorders. Senior Counsel Jimmy Yim from Drew & Napier, who is defending Father Jacob Ong, with Mr Darrell Low, told the court that Madam Valli was found to be in a "dissociative state" as far back as December 1986. Dissociative trance disorder, to a lay person, clergyman or priest, is a state akin to possession.

Madam Valli was diagnosed as suffering from "hysterical dissociative neurosis" in January 1987, according to her medicals records kept by NUH, which treated her from 1986 to 1989. The NUH case notes also detailed her history of entering into trances, including one where she had glided on the floor like a snake. Excerpts of the case notes were presented in court on Wednesday: One of them, dated Dec 26, 1986, states: "glides on floor, hissing like a snake last 1-3 minutes slumps onto ground and regain normal consciousness. unable to recall events during trance." Another, dated Jan 6, 1987, said she went to see the notorious medium Adrian Lim sometime in 1984 to get a cure for her trances.

ADRIAN LIM 41 (ABOVE), his wife Tan Mui Choo, 28, and mistress Hoe Kah Hong, 27, murdered two schoolchildren, aged nine and 10, in early 1981. All three were hanged in 1988. Excerpts of the case notes said she saw Lim twice and drank his blood and went into a trance together with him. She added that Lim gave her shock treatment by electrocution. She stopped seeing after she found out about the murders he had committed from newspaper reports. She felt "guilty and embarrassed," she told the NUH doctors. A Jan 21, 1987 case note gave a glimpse into her personal history. The excerpts read: "started going into trances for religious purposes at age 12. Trances at religious ceremonies at home - encouraged by mother, family and neighbour. Becomes incarnation of snake god and predicts and foretells fortune, past, present."

The court also heard that she told her doctor at Flame Tree Clinic on Oct 21, 2005, which she had asked for a medical report on her mental state, not to mention any of her family problems, alcoholism and depression. Her doctor, apparently told her that suppression of information would not be right as it would be "a great omission of the truth". On Nov 10, 2006, Madam Valli, in a sworn statement, insisted that the only psychiatric condition which she had suffered from was stress and alcohol dependency and she had been hospitalised at the IMH. Yet, in IHM's case notes dated Oct 30, 2006, she called an IMH doctor and told him that she "never had treatment at NUH before." Madam Valli was also seen by psychhiatrists, Prof Ong Thiew Chai of Tan Tock Seng Hospital and Dr Angelina Chan of Changi General Hospital in on Sept 3 and April 15, 2005 respectively, but their medical reports of her condition make no mention her psychiatric history prior to the Aug 10, 2004 incident at Novena Church. It was later revealed that she did not bring her past history in NUH to their attention. "It is submitted that all these omissions of past medical/psychiatric history deprived both Prof Ong and Dr Chan from arriving at a true and complete evaluation of the plaintiff's actual psychiatric condition," said Mr Yim.

= == = == = =

The trial is expected to last 12 days.

DAY 2 -

Woman possessed by spirit of 'dead soldier from Nee Soon camp'

By Jermyn Chow

THE priests who allegedly 'exorcised' Madam Amutha Valli Krishnan, 50, told her family members that she was 'possessed' by the spirit of a dead soldier from Nee Soon camp. According to Madam Valli's daughter, one of the priests, Father Simon Tan, said 'the spirit was highly powerful and dangerous'. The other priest is Father Jacob Ong.

'He said that they would have to do an 'exorcism' with deliverance and prayer on her,' said Madam Valli's daughter, Miss Subashini Jeyabal, 22, in her affidavit tendered in the High Court, where she is being cross-examined for the second day by defence lawyers acting for the two priests, the Redemptorist Order, and six other churchgoers. Madam Valli is suing for damages for the trauma she suffered following the alleged exorcism at Novena Church in Thomson Road on Aug 10, 2004. Miss Subashini (BELOW), in her affidavit, said her mother's condition deteriorated gradually after the incident.

ABOVE: The Children of Madam Amutha Valli, 50

'She was not able to sleep. She became very fearful and could not be left by herself. Eventually, she had to be hospitalised when her condition worsened,' she stated. 'My mother has not been the same person since the incident. Despite her ongoing treatment, she has not been able to forget about the incident and what was done to her.' Relationship with her mother She said she is 'quite close' to her mother and described her as a 'sensible person' whom she could 'always rely on for good advice.' 'My mother, being in the education field, has been a close guiding support for me and my brother in our formative years.' 'She took a keen interest in our studies and assisted us with our school work.' Her mother gave tuition to O and A levels students and her father is a taxi driver.

She has a 28-year-old brother, Jairajkumar, a student (ABOVE). Recounting the moments leading up to the alleged exorcism rites that night, she said that she and her mother, brother and Resham Singh, 34, her mother's sworn brother, went to Novena Church after dinner at a restaurant in Raffles City because her brother had wanted to pray. Although her mother was not feeling well and looked flushed, she decided to go along as she was concerned for her son who was unsure about what he wanted to do after his national service. While her mother was praying before the statute of Mother Mary in a chamber, she became giddy and fainted. Father Simon then came along and told them to take Madam Valli into a room in the main church building to rest. He asked the family members to wait outside. About five minutes later, she said Father Simon came out and told 'Uncle Sham' that her mother had been possessed.

ABOVE: The court visited the church. The group of 13, who included Justice Lee Sieu Kin, the lawyers for the plaintiff and 10 defendants, spent about 30 minutes surveying the areas in the well-known Catholic church in Thomson Road.

They went to the altar where Madam Valli claimed she had prayed and fainted, and the room in St Clements Pastoral Centre where she claimed she was "exorcised" and abused. -

The priest then asked some of the people who had gathered outside to enter the room.

About 45 mins later, Father Simon emerged from the room with Father Jacob and told the family members that they had to conduct an exorcism on Madam Valli. 'We were all very confused. Uncle Sham told him not to do anything to her until her husband arrived. But the guy with the white collar said not to worry and they went back into the room. The door was closed behind them.' 'We were all very anxious but we did not know what to do. We did not think that they were going to harm my mother as this was a church and they looked like priests.' She said about 10 minutes later when Uncle Sham asked an Indian man guarding the door if they could go in, they were told no as there was an exorcism going on in the room. 'My brother asked whether the proceedings could be stopped. The man just ignored him,' said Miss Subashini.

Under cross-examination on Thursday morning, she said she was horrified by the sight of her mother pinned down on the floor by several men, with her knee length skirt hiked up to her upper thighs when she went into the room with her brother and 'Uncle Sham' when they heard her mother screaming. She said she panicked and wanted to get out of the room quickly. 'I knew this is a done deal. I thought the people in the room were weird and freaky. I was just panicking and wanted to get out quickly,' said Miss Subashini, a student of PSB Academy.

Cross-examined by Mr Tito Isaac (ABOVE), who acts for the Redemptorist Order and Father Simon Tan, she denied that her mother was behaving strangely in the room. Neither was she in a state of trance or hallucinating. 'There is obviously something wrong with this place and I wanted to get out,' added Miss Subashini. In her affidavit describing the scene in the room, she said: 'I was stunned by what I saw. I have never seen my mother in that position. She looked exhausted and was screaming in pain.'

She said when she tried to help her mother up, 'Father Simon stopped me and said that I was not to touch her as the spirit would 'jump' into me.' Miss Subashini said she next accompanied her mother to the toilet, with two women from the church.

She claimed that Father Simon did not allow her mother to close the toilet door as 'he wanted to hear her relieve herself'. On the way back to the room, Madam Valli shouted at a man who she alleged had molested her and accused a Malay-looking man with orange bandana of strangling her. Miss Subashini also said that Father Simon refused to let her mother call the police. At Thursday's hearing, Madam Valli's lawyer, Mr R.S. Bajwa took issue with the defence arguments that the plaintiff's story was all a sham.

He wanted these to be included in the pleadings but Justice Lee Seiu Kin said this was not an issue for now. The cross-examination of Mss Subashini was repeatedly interrupted by exchanges between the lawyers from both sides. Senior counsel Jimmy Yim, who is defending Father Ong, accused her of lying and fabricating the evidence in her affidavit.

'It's so convincing it even amazes me as a trial lawyer,' he said. He also rejected as incredible her contention that she did not see her mother 'marching like a soldier' when 10 other witnesses, in their sworn statements, said they saw her 'marching like a soldier, eyes wide open, and even saluting.' 'Either they are lying under oath, or you are,' he put it to Miss Subashini. Clearly miffed with the frequent intervention from the plaintiff's lawyer during the cross-examination, Mr Yim told Mr Bajwa at one point: 'This is called shaking the witness. If my learned friend doesn't know how to shake a witness,' 'I'm not going to teach him. I find it so distracting that my learned friend keeps popping up and down like a Jack in the box.'

= == = ==
Priests' account of the "prayer" session

Father Jacob Ong said Madam Amutha's son, Jairaj Jeyabal, 28, had approached him while he was at the Pastoral Centre asking if he was a priest. He wanted a priest to pray over his mother, who was possessed by the spirit of a dead soldier and behaving suicidally. They had just come from a restaurant where she acted hysterically and caused a commotion. So they brought her to the church. In the church, Madam Valli was creeping on the floor, slithering like a snake. Her daughter, Subashini Jeyabel, 22, and "brother" Resham Singh, 37, were standing by.

When Resham said "Soldier, stand up" and "soldier march", she would obey before getting down on the floor again. Fr Ong got hold of Fr Simon Tan to help pray over her. Both priests picked up their prayer books and holy water. When they next saw her, she was already in the Pastoral Centre. She had "marched" in, according to others. When Fr Tan sprinkled holy water round the room, she started behaving wildly and shouting incoherently. She was pinned down by her daughter and Resham for 15 minutes. As she was behaving aggressively, Fr Ong asked other church-goers who were attending a farewell party on the grounds for help. Five men and two women responded. The family was told to wait outside while the prayer session took place. They moved in and out of the room anyway and could see through a glass window what was happening inside. Some people did restrain her, holding her hands and legs. But it was done to prevent her from hurting herself. She had even tried strangling herself twice.

The two priests read or sang words of prayer. Outside the room, other Catholics had gathered to pray. When she asked to use the toilet, two women and her daughter accompanied her. The priests were nowhere near the toilet. They were in the room clearing up and shifting furniture back in place. On her return, Madam Amutha turned abusive, levelling vulgar words and threatening to sue everyone. She also scolded her family members for bringing her to church. Neither she nor her family members had objected to any part of proceedings at any time. Nor did they ask for the police or an ambulance. Fr Tan suggested that the family return home. They did, but not before thanking him for his help. -- By Selena Lum & Carolyn Quek

= == = == == = = = =She was spied upon

Plaintiff appears well - except when she sees doctors'

FOR 1,000 hours over a period of four months, a private investigator tailed Madam Amutha Valli, capturing video footage of her doing things she claimed she could not do.

Madam Valli has alleged that, as a result of the torments inflicted on her at the Novena Church on Aug 10, 2004, she suffered a psychiatric condition known as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

She claims that she:
# is unable to urinate normally as she has associated going to the bathroom with the trauma she suffered
# is unable to go out alone or be left alone outside, for fear of being assaulted
# suffers recurrent nightmares about the incident
# is unable to continue meaningful employment
# requires the help of a full-time maid
# suffers from depression, suicidal thoughts, insomnia, stress and irrational thoughts However, a private eye has found that she:
# is quite well and not as fragile as she portrayed herself to be
# is capable of walking and being on her feet for lengthy periods quite independently
# goes out regularly with her "brother" and has no difficulty being left alone for long periods of time
# goes to the gym and public bathrooms ? alone The investigator reported that she appears frail, weak and pale only when she has to see a doctor.

Mr Tito Isaac, lawyer for the Redemptorist Order and Father Simon Tan, said the surveillance evidence did not corroborate Madam Valli's claim that she had suffered debilitating injury, was afraid of strangers and going out alone, and using the bathroom.

He said that Madam Valli's lawyer, Mr R S Bajwa, who had repeatedly said that she was physically and mentally fragile and may not even survive the trial, had exaggerated her condition. "The plaintiff's claim is misconceived and is michevious. It should be exposed and disposed off accordingly," he submitted. Senior Counsel Jimmy Yim, who acts for Father Jacob Ong, went one step further, saying that this shows a consistent picture of a scam. He urged the court to dismiss the plaintiff's claims with costs. -- By Selina Lum

The hearing continues.

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