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Kovan murder suspect charged

SINGAPORE — Shortly after he was charged in court with the Kovan double murders, the police moved yesterday to bar Iskandar Rahmat from duty. Responding to media queries, the police confirmed that Iskandar, who joined the police force in 1999 and rose to the rank of a senior staff sergeant, has been “formally interdicted from service”.

SINGAPORE — Shortly after he was charged in court with the Kovan double murders, the police moved yesterday to bar Iskandar Rahmat from duty. Responding to media queries, the police confirmed that Iskandar, who joined the police force in 1999 and rose to the rank of a senior staff sergeant, has been “formally interdicted from service”.

“As court proceedings against Iskandar are ongoing, we should let the law take its course, and not engage in speculation that could perpetuate misleading information that may cause further distress to the families involved in the case,” said the police in a statement yesterday evening.

It added: “Media and members of the public are urged to let the victims’ families have the privacy and space to grieve their loss.”

The police had on Saturday said Iskandar was taken off front-line duties as he was facing an internal investigation over his failure to declare his financial troubles. He was declared a bankrupt last Thursday, the day after the alleged murders.

Mr Tan Boon Sin, the 67-year-old owner of a motor workshop, was found dead in his home on Hillside Drive in the Kovan area last Wednesday, while the body of his son, Mr Tan Chee Heong, 42, was found nearly a kilometre away outside Kovan MRT Station, where he had been dragged under the getaway car driven by the murder suspect.

Iskandar was taken to the Subordinate Courts in an unmarked police car at around 9.45am yesterday and appeared in court 15 minutes later.

Dressed in a dark T-shirt and with his hands cuffed behind his back, Iskandar showed no emotion as he waited for the charges to be read out.

The 34-year-old was then formally charged with two counts of murder — those of Mr Tan Boon Sin and Mr Tan Chee Heong — at 3.38pm on July 10, according to court documents.

Iskandar was said to have fled to Johor Baru that same evening and was arrested by the Malaysian police at a restaurant in Danga Bay at around 11.30pm on Friday night after a 54-hour manhunt. He was extradited to Singapore the following day.

The prosecution sought more time yesterday for the police to complete their investigations. No plea was taken, nor did Iskandar say anything to the court. He was escorted out of the court around 11am yesterday by plainclothes officers.

Iskandar will be back in court on Monday for further mention. For now, he will be remanded at the Central Police Division to assist in the investigations, which will include re-enactments of the crime scene.

It is not clear if his family members were in court, although a woman was seen leaving in tears immediately after he was charged.

Under the Penal Code, anyone convicted of murder faces the mandatory death penalty. The funeral for the victims will be held this afternoon.

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