ALOR SETAR: The father of a woman who was raped and killed seven years ago was so distraught when the murder accused was acquitted that he tried to jump off the double-storey courthouse here.
Several pressmen managed to stop Chee Ah Sau from jumping over the corridor railing.
Guang Ming Daily journalist Elaine Teng grabbed Chee by the shoulder while TV9 cameraman Fadzilah Hashim wound his right arm around Chee’s neck to restrain him from jumping to his death around noon yesterday.
A few other press photographers spoke to Chee in Hokkien, urging him not to jump.
Chee was inconsolable and cried non-stop after he was rescued. Policemen and friends told him to calm down and not to act harshly.
He left the building about five minutes after the incident with his wife in a car driven by a friend.
Earlier in the High Court, Judicial Commissioner Zaki Abdul Wahab acquitted and discharged car salesman Shahril Jaafar, 32, of murdering Chee Gaik Yap (pic), 25, after finding that the prosecution had failed to prove a prima facie case.
After the ruling, Chee, 56, told reporters outside the courtroom that he was saddened by the decision. He and his wife Lim Kim Nai, 55, then broke into tears.
“I want justice for my daughter,” Chee said. “I have waited so long for it but it turned out like this.”
Seven years ago, Gaik Yap, a marketing executive and Universiti Utara Malaysia graduate, was believed to have been tailed by her assailant while jogging in the neighbourhood of Taman Ria Jaya in Sungai Petani.
She was kidnapped, raped and killed before her body was dumped at the housing estate.
Shahril, from Ayer Keroh, Malacca, was on trial for the murder that took place between 5.30pm on Jan 14, 2006, and 3.05am on Jan 15, 2006, near the Cinta Sayang Club in Taman Ria Jaya, Sungai Petani.
Zaki said Gaik Yap was reported missing while jogging on Jan 14, 2006, and her body was found in the same area the next morning.
He said Shahril was among several individuals rounded up for investigations three years later – on March 1, 2009. He was released and left for Australia four days later before being arrested upon returning to the country on Jan 17 last year.
Zaki said there was no evidence to show the accused stabbed his victim.
He said Shahril’s DNA had similarities to the traces of semen found on the victim but it was not a complete match and there was a possibility that a third person contributed to that DNA profile.
Zaki said it was circumstantial evidence that Shahril lived near the area and that his family owned a Naza car with dark tinted windows similar to the one spotted speeding away from where Gaik Yap was reported missing.
“However, it does not prove it was Shahril who drove the car or that he had committed the murder,” he said.