KUALA LUMPUR, 17 March 2009: Maika Holdings Bhd chief executive officer S Vell Paari told the coroner’s court here today that he never had a sexual relationship with his personal assistant K Sujatha.
He said his relationship with her was close and normally when he visited Sujatha at her condominium unit in Jalan Ipoh, it was for official reasons and if there were functions there.
He said he never paid her casual visits.
Vell Paari, 46, also admitted that Sujatha had visited him at home on numerous occasions and both of them had gone out for dinners.
“Sujatha had accompanied me for official and family functions,” he said.
Replying to Deputy Public Prosecutor Geethan Ram Vincent who assisted Magistrate Mohd Fauzi Che Abu who acted as coroner, Vell Paari said he had accompanied Sujatha twice to India where she sought medical treatment.
He also said Sujatha and her father and two brothers had accompanied him in a visit to Australia.
Vell Paari, who is MIC presdident Datuk Seri S Samy Vellu’s son, said he had paid for Sujatha to pursue her diploma and masters in commerce.
Yesterday, Vell Paari told the coroner he had also funded Sujatha’s brothers for their studies in Australia.
He was testifying at the inquest into the death of Sujatha, 28, who died at the Tengku Ampuan Rahimah Hospital in Klang on 25 June 2007, four days after her admission for allegedly drinking weedkiller.
Vell Paari also said he paid RM220,000 in cash for the codominium unit where Sujatha had stayed and stood as a guarantor for a bank loan amounting to RM200,000.
Vell Paari added he also stood as a guarantor for a loan on the Mazda RX8 used by Sujatha. “I also had stood as guarantor for four to five of my staff,” he added.
Vell Paari said he and his family were shocked that Sujatha had committed suicide and at one time, she had related to him about her family problem in 1998.
He added he did not suspect any foul play in Sujatha’s death.
To a question why he lied in a media statement a day after Sujatha’s death where he allegedly said his personal assistant died due to ovarian cyst, Vell Paari said: “Two of her brothers requested me not to reveal the actual cause of death. They said the public will have the perception that Sujatha had committed suicide and wanted her name not to be damaged in anyway.”
Vell Paari also said the request not to have a post-mortem performed on Sujatha’s body did not come from him but he had overheard her family members discussing it.
He said he attended Sujatha’s funeral and cremation ceremony in Ipoh a day after her death.
On a torn up photograph of his wedding dinner found in Sujatha’s room, Vell Paari said his assistant had asked for it. He said he had the photograph on his table in his office and it was intact when he gave it to her.
Geethan tendered the pasted back photograph as an exhibit.
Replying to counsel Datuk K Kumaraendran who represented him and Sujatha’s family, Vell Paari said Sujatha’s relationship with his wife, Shaila Nair, was good and they used go out together.
He also said that besides Sujatha and her brothers’ education, he had also supported the staff at Maika and Tamil Nesan pursue their education locally and overseas.
“I had assisted in their medical bills, even paid the down payment to their houses,” he added.
He said Sujatha also had assisted him in overseeing his business interests in India and Australia.
The hearing continues tomorrow. — Bernama