Crime & Courts

Federal Court upholds death sentence for Chee Gaik Yap's murderer [NSTTV]

PUTRAJAYA: The Federal Court today upheld the death sentence imposed on businessman Shahril Jaafar who was convicted with the murder of a female marketing executive near Kelab Cinta Sayang in Sungai Petani, Kedah 18 years ago.

A three-man panel led by judge Datuk Harmindar Singh Dhaliwal unanimously rejected the review application of Shahril, the son of a jewellery businessman with the title of "Datuk".

Judge Harmindar said the application was dismissed and the death sentence maintained.

"The court is always alive to compassion and mercy.

"But this was an exceptional case with exceptional facts.The victim of the murder suffered with exceptional violence.

"She was raped, sodomised, tortured and then killed. The killing had alarmed the public and caused public uproar.

"This murder had shocked the conscience of the public as it took place in broad daylight and in a place supposedly safe.

"Although the court is not bound by or disregard the public opinion, we cannot also ignore it. Therefore, this application is denied, and the death sentence is upheld," he said.

Also on the panel were judges Datuk Nordin Hassan and Datuk Abu Bakar Jais.

They had heard Shahril's review application made under the Revision of Sentence of Death and Imprisonment for Natural Life (Temporary Jurisdiction of the Federal Court) Act 2023.

On Aug 9,2015, the Alor Star High Court sentenced Shahril to death after he was found guilty of the murder of 24-year-old Chee Gaik Yap at the club in Taman Ria Jaya, Sungai Petani, between 5.30pm on Jan 14 and 3.05am on Jan 15, 2006.

Chee, marketing executive at a factory, had gone for a jog with one of her sisters at the club at around 5.30pm on Jan 14, 2006 before she went missing.

Her body was found with multiple stab wounds by the roadside in a housing estate in Taman Ria Jaya near the club in the wee hours the next day.

Deputy public prosecutor Datuk Mohd Dusuki Mokhtar objected Shahril's application on grounds that the facts presented by the prosecution fitted the principle of "rarest of rare case" and warranted the death sentence to be kept.

He said the case was extraordinary and needed to be differentiated from other murder cases as it involved acts of violence on the victim who was jogging in a public place.

"She was jogging with her sister before she was kidnapped, sodomised, raped and killed and her body was dumped. She was treated with no respect and dignity at all.

"The applicant had fled to Australia for three years before he was arrested by the police at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport," he said.

He said it was a brutal murder as forensic reports revealed there were 50 wounds on Chee's body, including her private parts.

He submitted that hair cream marks, indicating that it was used as lubricant, were also found on Chee's private parts, therefore, dismissing the defence's submission that it was voluntary sex.

Mohd Dusuki said Chee was her family's hope as she had just started working and was supposed to fly to Germany for training.

Shahril's defence counsel, Rosli Kamaruddin urged the court to consider that his client was undergoing psychiatric treatment based on reports from specialists and affidavit that had been filed.

Rosli said his client was 25 when the incident happened.

"He is remorseful and wants to go home to his family and live a normal life," he said.

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