The Court of Appeal today upheld the death sentence on a tow truck driver Koong Swee Kwan for murdering Arab-Malaysian Bank (AmBank) founder Hussain Ahmad Najadi.
A three-member bench comprising Yaacob Md Sam, Zabariah Mohd Yusof and P Ravinthran also affirmed the 18 years 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 the evidence was overwhelming against Koong.
“We find his conviction on the two charges were safe,” he said.
Koong, 50, known as Sei Ngan Chai (bespectacled) 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 in 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 between 1.30 pm and 2 pm 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 Mohd Azman could have been prejudiced since he had heard the appeal of a taxi man, 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 in 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.
The retrial was heard by then judicial commissioner Ab Karim Ab Rahman (now High Court judge).
Koong's counsel Hisyam Teh Poh Teik earlier submitted that his client's defence was not fairly and justly assessed by the trial judge as required by the law.
Deputy public prosecutor (DPP) Datuk Umar Saifuddin Jaafar who was assisted by DPP Tetralina Ahmed Fauzi, countered by saying that the High Court judge had considered fully the whole of the prosecution and defence case.
Meanwhile, Justice Yaacob requested the prison authorities and the prosecution to facilitate Koong to make a police report against a prison officer whom he (Koong) alleged to have been abusing him after his counsel Hisyam informed the matter to the court.
Koong has one more tier of appeal to the Federal Court.