Ex-Esscom Intelligence chief checked into hotel three days before murder - Witness

Mat Zaki had stayed at the same hotel 55 times since 2018.

23 Jan 2024 09:14pm
The High Court was told that former Eastern Sabah Security Command (Esscom) Intelligence chief of staff SAC Datuk Mat Zaki Md Zain, had checked into a hotel here, three days before the murder of e-hailing driver Nurman Bakaratu. - Photo by Sinar
The High Court was told that former Eastern Sabah Security Command (Esscom) Intelligence chief of staff SAC Datuk Mat Zaki Md Zain, had checked into a hotel here, three days before the murder of e-hailing driver Nurman Bakaratu. - Photo by Sinar
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TAWAU - The High Court here was today told that former Eastern Sabah Security Command (Esscom) Intelligence chief of staff SAC Datuk Mat Zaki Md Zain, had checked into a hotel here, three days before the murder of e-hailing driver Nurman Bakaratu.

Muhammad Asyraf Muhamad Kamal, 30, a hotel receptionist, said according to the hotel records, Mat Zaki had checked in on Jan 10 last year and departed the following day, Jan 11.

The 18th prosecution witness said according to the hotel records, Mat Zaki had stayed at the same hotel 55 times since 2018.

During the examination-in-chief by deputy public prosecutor (DPP) Mohammad Fakhrurrazi Ahmad, the witness stated that the last time Mat Zaki stayed at the hotel was on Jan 10, 2023.

"There is a hotel invoice under the name of Encik Mat Zaki Md Zain," he said in reply to Mohammad Fakhrurrazi's question on the sixth day of the trial of eight individuals, including Mat Zaki, charged with killing Nurman early last year.

Policemen Rosdi Rastam, 45, Denis Anit, 45, Fabian Rungam, 44, Khairul Azman Bakar, 47, Mohd Azlan Sakaran, 40, and John Kennedy Sanggah, 44, and a civilian Vivien Fabian, 34, are charged with the murder of Nurman at a palm oil plantation near Jalan Anjur Juara, Jalan Apas Baru 5 here.

They were accused of committing the act between 7.30 pm and 11.30 pm on Jan 13 last year and were charged under Section 302 of the Penal Code, read with Section 34 of the same code, which provides for the death penalty if convicted.

Mat Zaki, 59, is facing two charges of conspiring to kill Nurman according to Section 109 of the Penal Code read with Section 302 of the same code.

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According to Muhammad Asyraf, on Jan 22 last year, an individual identifying himself as a police officer from Bukit Aman after showing his identification card, visited the hotel to request copies of the check-in and check-out records as well as CCTV recordings.

"After receiving the letter from the police officer, I contacted my supervisor to seek permission for our collaboration with the police.

"Subsequently, my boss granted permission for the police to obtain copies of the hotel records and access our hotel's CCTV," he said adding that only the receptionist on duty have access the CCTV recordings.

The witness said he asked the policeman for a pen drive or hard disk to store the hotel's CCTV recordings.

"I told the policeman that our hotel doesn't have a decoder, but we use an application called CMS to store CCTV recordings, and this CMS can keep hotel CCTV recordings for three months," he said.

In response to a question from lawyer Datuk Ram Singh, representing Mat Zaki and two other accused, the witness said Mat Zaki might have left the hotel at 9.16 am on Jan 11, 2023.

The trial before Judge Datuk Duncan Sikodol continues tomorrow. - BERNAMA