KUALA LUMPUR: Six men and a woman have been freed by the High Court today for the murder of real estate agent Datin Wong Siew Ling last year.
Judge Datuk Azman Abdullah acquitted and discharged M. Pal Ganapathy, 27, S.Vijendran, 30, K. Sri Kanapathy, 35, Chen Yuen Ming, 42, Chin Kok Leong, 45, Liew Lai Chen, 48, and K. Sattiyarao, 30, after prosecutors failed to build a prima facie case against them.
He also said that failure of the deceased's husband to present himself as a witness had broken the chain of evidence.
"His (deceased's husband) absence in the trial could mean two things... the first one being that he knows about the murder and afraid to come forward and secondly, maybe he is involved in the case.
"However, he might not be involved as looking at the deceased's sister's testimony, the deceased had told her sister to handover all of the documents to the husband should anything happen to her (the deceased)," the judge said.
The verdict was made this morning after a seven-month trial.
The courtroom was filled with joy when the verdict was delivered. Family and friends of the accused hugged them as soon as the court adjourned.
The accused, Pal Ganapathy and Vijendran were jointly charged with murder while Kanapathy, Chen, Chin, Liew and Sattiyarao were charged with abetting the two in the murder.
All seven were accused of committing the offence at Jalan Hujan Emas 4, Overseas Union Garden, Off Jalan Klang Lama in Brickfields here between 2pm and 2.30pm on July 6, 2016.
Deputy public prosecutor Aznika Mohd Anas prosecuted while Ganapathy and Vijendran were represented by counsel E. Vijey and Loh Suk Hwa.
The other accused were represented by counsel Nur Hayati Omar, Datuk Geethan Ram Vincent, Datuk Sivananthan, Low Huey Theng, Datin Freda Sabapathy, Datuk Simon Sabapathy and M. Rajakumaran.
Police had previously said that Wong’s murder was masterminded by a businessman who owed her RM13 million.
Investigations revealed that the killing took place after Wong had enlisted a private investigator to get the money back from the businessman and his wife, after the business venture failed to take off.