Monday, August 10

Housewife escapes the gallows

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IPOH: A housewife can look forward to celebrating the upcoming Chinese New Year with peace of mind following the High Court here yesterday acquitting and discharging her from a murder charge.

ACQUITTED: Wong  leaving the high court with her son after being freed from the charge of murdering her boyfriend two years ago. — Bernama photo

ACQUITTED: Wong leaving the high court with her son after being freed from the charge of murdering her boyfriend two years ago. — Bernama photo

Wong Lai Leng, 53, from here, was charged with murdering her boyfriend Risham Abdullah, 45, at house number No.58, Tingkat Taman Ipoh 9, Ipoh Garden South here at 2pm on Dec 3, 2008.

She was arrested the next day and was subsequently charged under Section 302 of the Penal Code, which carries the death by hanging sentence, if convicted.

Judicial Commissioner Chong Siew Kim, in her brief judgement yesterday, said the prosecution failed to prove a prima facie case against the accused.

She arrived at the decision after hearing submissions from the prosecution and defence at the end of the trial yesterday.

The prosecution was conducted by Deputy Public Prosecutor Aiza Khairuddin while Wong was represented by counsel Dr Naran Singh.

Eight prosecution witnesses testified during the course of the trial which began on Jan 4 last year.

Met outside the court, Wong, who was accompanied by her siblings who had come from New Zealand and the United States to give moral support, said she was very happy with the decision and that she had total faith in her lawyer.

“I will begin a new life…This (court decision yesterday) is the best gift ahead of the Chinese New Year,” she said.

During submissions on Thursday, Aiza had said the victim was found lifeless and drenched in blood in a room of the house with slash wounds in the neck and chest and abrasions in the face, head and neck while the accused, who was also injured, was found lying in the master bedroom.

Aiza had contended that witnesses’ testimonies and the situation at the crime scene, was proof enough to convict the accused.

However, Dr Naran Singh submitted that the prosecution failed to prove a prime facie case as there were too much incon-sistencies from the witnesses as well as in materials produced as evidence like a machete, a pair of black shoes and a red towel, the owner of which was not known as a one of the witnesses, who was a tenant at the house, had never seen it before.

He had further submitted that the investigating officer when testifying had not discounted the possibility that a third party could have been responsible for the murder.

The prosecution had also failed to positively identify the victim, as the wallet in his trousers where it claimed his identity card was found was not produced as evidence, he added. — Bernama