By Selina Lum
IN A dramatic twist yesterday, an odd-job labourer was released from prison after he was cleared of murdering an elderly housewife six years ago.
Mr Ismil Kadar - who spent six years in prison including two years on death row - was acquitted by the Court of Appeal, which issued a strongly worded judgment highlighting 'serious lapses' by police and prosecutors.
Describing the case as 'extraordinary', Justice V. K. Rajah said the 42-year-old's confessions were obtained 'in troubling circumstances' which appeared to be deliberate breaches in procedures rather than mere carelessness.
He added that investigators had been 'less than thorough' and said there was a 'startling lack of any objective evidence' that tied Mr Ismil to the crime.
Mr Ismil - who has an IQ of only 73 - had been in jail since May 2005, when he 'confessed' to murdering Madam Tham Weng Kuen, 69, in her Boon Lay flat. The IQ level of a normal person is between 90 and 110.
The housewife was stabbed and slashed 110 times in the brutal attack while her husband, who was bedridden from a stroke, was in the bedroom. He heard what was happening but could not do anything about it. Madam Tham's body was discovered a few hours later when their only child - a daughter - checked on them.
Now this is scary.
Firtly Kudo to the lawyer Mr R. Thrumurgan.
The screw up by police and the prosecutors wasted 6 years of a man life and nearly cause the death of an innocent man.
Note that Mr Ismail Kadar was force to confess 'in troubling circumstances' probably being abused physically and psychologically.
This could very well happen to you and me.
I believe the police and the state own Mr Ismail Kadar an apology and are going to offer him some compensation.
More importantly it should also investigate and make public what when wrong and how to prevent in the future. And also please find out is there any similar cases now.
Question I can come up with:
Why did the police force a confession out of Mr Kadar who is low in IQ? What method did they used that can cause a man who confessed in a crime that has the death penalty?
Was there a KPI to be met then? Were they trying to take the easy way out by closing the case when they can’t find the real culprit?
Who was responsible for this lapse and is anyone being held responsible for it?
What is being done to prevent it from happening again?
Was Wong Kang Seng the Home affair Minister then? (OK a cheap shot)
It is sad that this sort of thing is happening in Singapore where the police and State prosecutor pride themselves for fair and efficient.
I personally had heard other stories similar to this case regarding the Men In Blue so I am really sceptical about the efficiency of the Police.