The final chapter was closed in one of Malaysia's most sensational murder cases yesterday when the Court of Appeal dismissed a bid by a faith healing couple and an assistant to overturn their conviction for hacking a politician to death. The victim, Mazlan Idris, a member of the Pahang State Assembly, approached the bomohs for help in defeating political rivals. He was killed and robbed while being given a mandi bunga , or ritual bath, to wash away his bad luck in July, 1993. His body was cut up into 18 parts and buried under his house. The case, which attracted intense public interest and received extensive media coverage, had in addition to the riveting ingredients of politics and mysticism, the glamour of the smartly-dressed and coiffured Mona Fandey. Fandey, then 38, greeted media cameras with a dazzling smile before and after she was convicted of murder together with her husband, Mohamad Affendy and the assistant, Juraimi Hussin. Evidence was given at the trial of blood spurting from the victim when he was chopped with an axe at the same time as Fandey was pouring water on him from a basin as part of the bathing ritual. Four years later, at the Appeal Court hearing, Fandey's smile was just as sparkling, although her hair was shorter and austerely cut. At the trial, she said she had given talismans and charms to a number of senior members of the United Malays National Organisation, the dominant party in the ruling National Front coalition, to 'make them more appealing to voters'. After the bomoh couple and their assistant were convicted and sentenced to death, the Government launched a campaign to combat 'bizarre beliefs in the power of spirits and bomohs '. But superstitious beliefs remain widespread throughout Malaysia. Unless the three convicted murderers receive a rare royal pardon, they will be hanged.