KUCHING: The Court of Appeal has acquitted Ling Hang Tsyr of a charge of abetting a man in the murder of her husband, bank manager Wong Jing Kui, in Sibu seven years ago.
In a unanimous decision, Court of Appeal judges Justices Zabariah Mohd Yusof, Suraya Othman and Kamaludin Md Said found that there were gaps in the circumstantial evidence used to convict Ling.
"There is no reliable incriminating circumstantial evidence pointing to the guilt of the appellant. We also found that the alleged motive of the appellant for the crime was not proven.
"The circumstantial evidence is insufficient to form a noose strong enough to hang the appellant," Zabariah said when reading out the judgment at the court complex here on Tuesday (Oct 8).
Ling was found guilty and sentenced to death by the Sibu High Court in 2017 after she and her boyfriend Tiong King Guan were charged with abetting the principal accused, Ling Hoe Ing, in killing Wong at his home on June 14,2012.
Tiong is still at large while Hoe Ing was jailed 16 years after pleading guilty to an alternative charge of culpable homicide.
However, Zabariah said the panel found that there was no direct evidence of a pre-arranged plan or common intention between Hang Tsyr and Hoe Ing to kill Wong.
They concluded that it was not safe to convict Hang Tsyr on the charge of abetment and set aside her conviction and sentence.
Hang Tsyr's father, who was present in court, was seen hugging his daughter after the decision.
Her counsel Roger Chin told reporters justice had been served after Hang Tsyr spent the last seven years in prison since her arrest in 2012.
"I think the Court of Appeal made the right decision because there is no evidence and there are too many gaps. She is entitled to her freedom today.
"But I believe this is not the end as the deputy public prosecutor is very likely to appeal to the Federal Court," he said.