PUTRAJAYA: The Court of Appeal here has upheld the death sentence of tow truck driver Koong Swee Kwan for murdering Arab-Malaysian Bank (AmBank) founder Hussain Ahmad Najadi.
A three-member bench comprising Justices Yaacob Md Sam, Zabariah Mohd Yusof and P. Ravinthran also affirmed the 18-year jail term on Koong for attempting to murder Najadi’s wife Cheong Mei Kuen, 55.
In unanimously dismissing Koong’s appeal against his conviction and sentence for both charges, Justice Yaacob, who led the bench, ruled that evidence was overwhelming against Koong.
“We find his conviction on the two charges was safe, ” he said.
Koong, 50, known as Sei Ngan Chai (which means bespectacled in Cantonese) was sentenced to death on Oct 27,2017, for killing Najadi, 75, after a retrial of his case.
He was also sentenced to 18 years’ jail for attempting to murder Cheong.
Koong was charged with committing the offences in the parking lot of the Kuan Yin Temple in Lorong Ceylon, Kuala Lumpur, between 1.30pm and 2pm on July 29,2013.
On Sept 5,2014, the Kuala Lumpur High Court judge Justice Mohd Azman Husin sentenced Koong to death for Najadi’s murder and also jailed him 18 years for the attempted murder.
However, on Dec 14,2016, the Federal Court five-man bench set aside his conviction and ordered the case to be retried in the High Court before a new judge after ruling that Justice Azman could have been prejudiced since he had heard the appeal of a taxi driver, Chew Siang Chee, who was facing charges of possession of pistol and bullets.
Chew was said to have driven Koong away after the shooting.
Chew was convicted and sentenced to 10 years’ jail on two charges by the Sessions Court for possessing a pistol and live bullets.
However, he was acquitted by the Court of Appeal in 2015.
Meanwhile, Justice Yaacob requested the prison authorities and the prosecution to facilitate Koong to make a police report against a prison officer whom Koong alleged to have been abusing him after his counsel Hisyam Teh Poh Teik informed the court of the matter.
Koong has one more tier of appeal to the Federal Court. — Bernama