More than two years after the grisly murder of a father and son in Kovan shocked Singapore, a former police officer will stand trial over the killings.
The high-profile trial of Iskandar Rahmat, 36, is began on Tuesday (Oct 20) in the High Court. He faces two counts of murder.
On Jul 10, 2013, the body of Mr Tan Chee Heong, 42, was found at a taxi stand outside Kovan MRT station. He had been dragged nearly 1km under the getaway car driven by the murder suspect, leaving a blood trail that led to his father’s house at 14J Hillside Drive. At the house, the body of his 67-year-old father Tan Boon Sin, the owner of a motor workshop, was found. Both victims had multiple knife wounds.
Iskandar fled to Johor Bahru the same evening and was arrested by the Malaysian police at a restaurant in Danga Bay at around 11.30pm after a 54-hour manhunt. He was extradited to Singapore the following day.
Iskandar, who joined the police force in 1999 and rose to the rank of a senior staff sergeant, has been barred from duty since the murder charges were tendered against him in July 2013.
Justice Tay Yong Kwang will preside over the trial scheduled over two tranches: the first from Oct 20 to 30, 2015, and the second from Mar 29 to Apr 8, 2016. More than 100 witnesses are expected to testify.
ACCUSED WAS FACING BANKRUPTCY: DPP
In court on Tuesday, Deputy Public Prosecutor Lau Wing Yum said Iskandar’s financial troubles started after his divorce in 2005 and he could not keep up with his housing loan repayments, DPP Lau said.
He devised a plan to rob the elder Tan after the victim made a police report over a theft from his safe deposit boxes. Iskandar believed that Tan had enough money to repay his debt, DPP Lau said.
At the time of the murder, Iskandar was facing imminent bankruptcy with more than S$60,000 owed to a bank. He was taken off front-line duties due to an internal investigation over his failure to declare his financial troubles.
The murders were carried out on the day he was supposed to make a payment to the bank, DPP Lau said.
Iskandar allegedly used a knife – which was never recovered – to repeatedly stab both men. The elder Tan sustained at least 20 stab wounds and the younger Tan at least 11. The cause of death for both victims was acute haemorrhage, DPP Lau said.
The prosecutor also alleged that Iskandar intentionally reversed the car over the younger Tan’s body while fleeing the scene. He later dumped the car at an industrial estate in Eunos before driving a rental car home. He then fled to Johor Bahru on his scooter.
Iskandar remained expressionless throughout the prosecution’s statement, only occasionally looking up from his pile of documents at the lawyers and at photographs being shown.
If convicted of the charges, Iskandar faces the death penalty.