Najadi murder: Retrial set for mention next January

KUALA LUMPUR: The new trial of the tow truck driver who was previously convicted of murdering Arab-Malaysian Development Bank founder Hussain Ahmad Najadi and attempting to murder his wife has been fixed for mention next month.
High Court deputy registrar Aizatul Akmal Maharani fixed Jan 17, 2017 for the retrial of Koong Swee Kwan.
Wan Shaharuddin Wan Ladin and Hamdan Hamzah were the Deputy Public Prosecutors (DPPs) while counsel Datuk Jagjit Singh Bant Singh, a former Sessions Court judge, acted for Koong.
Jagjit told reporters that the court set Jan 17 for mention and that High Court Judicial Commissioner Ab Karim Ab Rahman would hear the matter.
DPP Wan Shaharuddin said that the judge would also fix the trial dates on Jan 17.
Hussain, 75, was shot dead while his wife Cheong Mei Kuen, 52, was seriously injured after emerging from the Kuan Yin temple in Lorong Ceylon here between 1.30pm and 2pm on July 29, 2013.
The gunman, who had crept from behind, fired randomly at the two at close range, killing Hussain on the spot.
Koong, 47, was found guilty of murdering Hussain under Section 302 of the Penal Code, which carries a mandatory death sentence upon conviction.
He was also found guilty of attempting to murder Cheong, and was sentenced to 18 years’ jail under Section 307 of the Penal Code.
Koong lost his appeal at the Court of Appeal on Nov 25 last year.
On Dec 14 this year, the Federal Court’s five-man panel chaired by Chief Judge of Malaya Justice Zulkefli Ahmad Makinuddin, set aside Koong’s conviction and death sentence and ordered his case to be sent back to the High Court for a retrial before a new judge.
Justices Azahar Mohamed, Zaharah Ibrahim, Balia Yusof Wahi, and Jeffrey Tan Kok Wha were also on the panel.
Koong’s counsel Hisyam Teh Poh Teik had submitted that the High Court judge Justice Mohd Azman Husin had heard Koong’s trial and 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 by Justice Mohd Azman on Aug 8, 2014 and the decision was deferred to Sept 9, 2014, and the same judge handed down his decision in Koong’s trial on Sept 5, 2014 when he convicted Koong of the murder and attempted murder charges.
Teh added that the High Court judge ought to have recused himself from either hearing Koong’s trial or Chew’s appeal.


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