SIBU: The murder trial for the duo charged with abetment in the murder of a bank manager here has been adjourned following request by the defence to have the charge dismissed by the High Court.
Judicial Commissioner Azahari Kamal Ramli, after listening to lengthy submissions by both the defence and the prosecution yesterday, moved the case to today.
Car salesman Andrew Tiong King Guan, 26, and Christine Ling Hang Tsyr, 31, are charged for abetting and engaging Ling Hoe Ing, 24, with the common intention to kill Wong Jing Kui, 31.
The charges are under Section 109 and Section 302 of the Penal Code, which is read together with Section 34 of the same code.
If convicted, Tiong and Christine could face the mandatory death sentence.
The crime was said to have been committed around 1.30am on June 14, 2012 at the victim’s residence in Jalan Ulu Sungai Merah. Christine was Wong’s wife.
Hoe Ing was sentenced to 16 years in jail last Oct 1 after he pleaded guilty to an amended charge of culpable homicide not amounting to murder under Section 304 of the same code.
Upon this premise, Tiong’s counsel Orlando Chua was the first to raise this preliminary objection yesterday, submitting that since Hoe Ing had been convicted for culpable homicide, it had put a completely different complexion to the existing charge on his client and Christine.
“The third accused (Hoe Ing) is still serving his sentence and up to now, there has not been any appeal or complaint from the public prosecutor.”
Christine’s counsel Anthony Tai, in supporting Chua’s objection to the charge, said the question that the court needed to address was: “Was there a murder committed in consequence of the abetment?
“The answer to this question is a big no especially in the light of the fact that the principal offender, the third defendant had been convicted of the offence under Section 304 (a) of the Penal Code.”
Tai submitted that Section 34, which is a distinct offence, should not be incorporated into the charge.
“I therefore respectfully submitted that the charge is bad in law and it would prejudice our client in that our client would not know whether they are being treated as principal offenders, or they have committed the offence of abetment,” he added.
Deputy public prosecutor Muslim Abdul Hamid, on the other hand, contended that although the third accused had pleaded guilty for an offence under Section 304 (a) of the Penal Code, the charge against the other two for abetment for murder was still sustainable, in accordance with Section 110 and Section 300 of the same Code.
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