Saturday, August 21, 2010

Twist in jet-engines theft: Airman charged for money laundering

New charges have been levied against former airman N Tharmendran in the Sessions court today, this time for alleged money laundering in connection with the 2007 theft of two jet fighter engines.

He was slapped with three separate charges while company director K Rajandran Prasad, who is jointly charged with the theft, faces five separate counts on the same charge.

Both accused denied the charges.

The latest accusations add yet another twist to the already convoluted case facing Tharmendran who claimed that the armed forces had tortured him in connection with the jet engine theft.

His lead counsel, N Surendran, said the prosecution intended the new charges to be heard together with Tharmendran's earlier one, but the defence had submitted against the application.

Judge Hayatul Akmal Abd Aziz set Sept 6 for mention to decide whether or not the new charges should be heard together with the earlier ones.

Surendran said the new charges are fishy as there had been no prior investigation by the police.

"We believe someone gave instructions to charge Tharmendran, because after the charge was read out the police wanted to take him to record a statement.

"The charges are completely baseless and we believe this is being done to simply persecute Tharmendran, since he had exposed his torture by the military," he said.

Tharmendran is currently being detained at the Sungai Buloh prison, after he retracted his bail, fearing possible reprisal from his former employers after making his torture claims.

The former air force sergeant is also facing a court martial for alleged dishonest misappropriation of public property and has the alternative charge of accepting stolen property filed against him.

No comments: