Tuesday, January 17, 2017
High Court sets dates for Najadi retrial
The trial of the 47-year-old tow truck driver will run from March 16 to March 27, and from March 27 to March 31 and between May 22 and 26.
High Court Judicial Commissioner Ab Karim Ab Rahman set the dates in the presence of Deputy Public Prosecutors Wan Shaharuddin Wan Ladin and Hamdan Hamzah and Koong's counsel Datuk Jagjit Singh Bant Singh.
Earlier, DPP Wan Shaharuddin informed the court that Koong's appeal was heard before a five-man Federal Court panel, adding that the panel had ordered the case to be sent back to the High Court for retrial before a new judge.
DPP Wan Shaharuddin also said that they would call 15 witnesses to testify in the trial.
Koong, who is also known as Sei Ngan Chai (four-eyed guy), was charged with murdering Najadi at the parking lot of the Kuan Yin temple in Lorong Ceylon here between 1.30pm and 2pm on July 29, 2013.
He was charged under Section 302 of the Penal Code which carries the mandatory death sentence upon conviction.
He was also charged with the attempted murder of Najadi’s wife Cheong Mei Kuen, 52, and causing her injury at the same time and place. The charge under Section 307 of the Penal Code provides a jail term of up to 20 years if convicted.
On Dec 14 last year, the panel chaired by Chief Judge of Malaya Zulkefli Ahmad Makinudin unanimously set aside the conviction and sentence for both charges and instructed that the case go for a retrial.
He had said that the sentence of the High Court was highly prejudicial in light of the High Court judge who had heard Koong's trial and the appeal of one of the prosecution witnesses.
Presiding with him were Justices Azahar Mohamed, Zaharah Ibrahim, Balia Yusof Wahi and Jeffrey Tan Kok Wha.
Koong was found guilty by the High Court here in September 2014 for killing Najadi and the attempted murder of Cheong.
He lost his appeal at the Court of Appeal on Nov 25, 2015.
In hearings, Koong’s counsel Hisyam Teh Poh Teik had submitted that the High Court judge who heard Koong’s trial also heard the appeal of taxi driver Chew Siang Chee who was facing charges for possession of a pistol and live bullets.
He said Chew’s evidence in his own case contained highly prejudicial evidence against Koong.
He said Chew’s appeal was heard on Aug 8, 2014 and the decision was deferred to Sept 9 2014, adding that the same judge handed down his decision in Koong’s trial on Sept 5 2014.
Teh added that the High Court judge ought to have recused himself from either hearing Koong’s trial or Chew’s appeal.
By Maizatul Nazlina
Posted by wikisabah at 5:07:00 PM