Court finds siblings guilty of church arson

By Boo Su-Lyn, The Malaysian Insider

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 13 — The Sessions Court here today found siblings Raja Muhammad Faizal Raja Ibrahim and Raja Muhammad Idzham Raja Ibrahim guilty of torching the Metro Tabernacle church earlier this year.

Judge SM Komathy Suppiah said she found the testimonies of the defence to be riddled with inconsistencies and contradictions.

“The defence failed to raise a reasonable doubt. I find both the first and second accused guilty of the charge,” said Komathy in her judgment today.

“The barbecue was a fabrication and afterthought,” added Komathy.

The story of Raja Muhammad Faizal and Raja Muhammad Idzham sustaining injuries while setting up a barbecue at their friend Hamzan Zainal Abidin’s house only emerged when both siblings testified three days ago.

Other key witnesses however, including Kuala Lumpur Hospital (KLH)’s Dr Lim Chee Kean who had treated Raja Muhammad Faizal and a policeman who had recorded Hamzan’s statement, did not mention a barbecue in their earlier testimonies.

Dr Lim had testified that Raja Muhammad Faizal told her that he sustained burn injuries from burning rubbish.

Similarly, policeman Mohd Hanis Abdul Wahab had told the court that Hamzan had also told him the same story when his statement was recorded.

“Witness Hamzan has further weakened the defence’s case,” said Komathy.

The judge said that Hamzan, who claimed to be best friends with both accused, did not inform the police of the purported barbecue at his house despite discovering their charge through the newspapers.

“I find his (Hamzan)’s evidence completely unconvincing and unbelievable,” added Komathy.