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Court gaffe traps murder suspect.


A MURDER suspect yesterday apparently tripped himself up in court when he spoke a language he claimed he didn't understand.

The Indian man, accused of murdering a colleague and trying to kill another, claimed he couldn't speak Madrasi, a dialect of Tamil.

However, when the High Criminal Court judge asked a police translator to speak to him in the language, he (defendant) answered his questions.

The court was silenced for seven minutes as the Indian translator spoke to the defendant in Madrasi.

It is understood he asked him his name, age and address.

Defence lawyer Thani Salem Thani objected, claiming the translator changed his dialect to Tamil during the conversation and his client's hesitance to answer the questions proved he didn't fully understand the language.

"I understand a little of Tamil and he (the translator) changed his dialect mid-conversation and that's when my client answered his questions," argued Mr Thani.

The 44-year-old translator, who showed up in court yesterday after failing to turn up for five sessions, argued that Madrasi was another dialect of Tamil, but both languages were similar when spoken.

Judges over-ruled Mr Thani's objection, saying they heard the defendant answer the questions in Madrasi.

The defendant was arrested after a major manhunt, following an attack which left one worker dead and another seriously injured, at a living quarters above a car showroom near Burhama, on September 25 last year.

Judges adjourned the case to March 17 to summon 43-year-old Bangladeshi survivor Raiharon Naith for cross-examination.


The defendant was captured a month after the murder, after police traced his whereabouts when he phoned a friend.

He allegedly admitted committing the crime during police questioning, saying he believed his Bangladeshi victims had tried to poison his food at the accommodation they shared.

He and the other two men all worked at the Al Abraj Car Exhibition showroom in the Rakan Complex.

Sudhil Kumar, 30, was found beaten to death, while Mr Naith was seriously injured and spent several months in Salmaniya Medical Complex, before being discharged.

He lost vision in his right eye, is virtually disabled and is unlikely to work again, the court heard earlier.

Both victims were allegedly beaten with an iron bar or sledgehammer while they were sleeping.

The crime was discovered when a 24-year-old Bangladeshi, who worked in the car showroom but lived in Manama, went to the men's room to see why they had not turned up for work.

Mr Kumar is survived by his wife Nasrin and daughter Nipa, who live in the southern Bangladesh city of Comilla.

Mr Naith is married and has two children in the Noakhali district in southern Bangladesh.

Copyright 2009 Gulf Daily News

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Publication:Gulf Daily News (Manama, Bahrain)
Date:Feb 5, 2009
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