A Malaysian professor burst into tears during his Hong Kong murder trial on Thursday when a forensic doctor recounted details of a postmortem examination of his lifeless child.
Khaw Kim-sun, accused of murdering his wife and daughter by placing a leaking yoga ball containing carbon monoxide in their car, wept and gasped in the dock at the High Court.
The sudden outburst of emotion during the morning prompted the presiding judge, Mrs Judianna Barnes Wai-ling, to adjourn the trial until the afternoon.
An associate professor at Chinese University’s department of anaesthesia and intensive care, Khaw denied two counts of murder involving his wife Wong Siew-fung, 47, and Khaw Li-ling, 16, on May 22, 2015.
The 53-year-old anaesthesiologist, who used to work at Prince of Wales Hospital in Sha Tin, wiped his eyes and nose with a tissue when he heard forensic doctor Dr Foo Ka-chung explain his examination of the girl.
In what prosecutors called a “deliberate and calculated” murder plot, Khaw, who was having an affair with one of his students, ordered carbon monoxide through his university office, claiming it was for research purposes.
But prosecutors said he ended up using it to fill up a yoga ball, which he then unplugged and placed inside a Mini Cooper Wong was driving, with the daughter in the passenger seat. The two were found unconscious in the car at the Sai O Village bus stop in Ma On Shan. They were later declared dead by carbon monoxide poisoning at Prince of Wales.
On Thursday, Foo, who had examined the two bodies, said he found no physical injuries on the girl.
He estimated that she probably died between 12.45pm and 2.45pm that day, a time period that was consistent with evidence submitted by prosecutors that the two were still in the car then.
For Wong, Foo said a postmortem examination found a carbon monoxide level in her blood of 50 per cent, or 10 per cent above the lethal level.
The court previously heard the gas, if inhaled abundantly, could cause vision impairment and even death.
Foo also said he found traces of antidepressants in Wong’s body, consistent with what he was told that she suffered from depression.
The court previously heard she knew about Khaw’s mistress, had grown to accept it, but refused her husband’s request for a divorce.
The trial continues on Friday.