Bill Kayong murder case: Businessman Datuk, two others acquitted

06 Jun 2017 / 17:12 H.

MIRI: The murder trial of land activist Bill Kayong took a sudden twist after three individuals including a Sarawak businessman were discharged and acquitted from the case by the Miri High Court, here, today.
Datuk Stephen Lee Chee Kiang, 46, pub owner Lie Chang Loon, 38 and Lee's personal assistant Chin Wui Chung, 51, were discharged and acquitted without their defence being called.
High Court judge P. Ravinthran ruled that the prosecution had failed to establish a prima facie case linking the trio to the murder.
The main suspect, car repossessor Mohamad Fitri Pauz, 30, however was ordered to enter his defence. The trial is set to commence on June 14.
"I find that the prosecution has established a prima facie case against Fitri and I hereby call the accused to enter his defence," said Ravinthran.
Mohamad Fitri was charged with the murder of Kayong under Section 320 of the Penal Code for murder while the trio had been charged with abetting him.
If found guilty, Mohamad Fitri could face the death sentence.
Deputy Public Prosecutor Mohd Fuad Abdul Aziz prosecuted while counsel Ranbir Singh appeared for Mohamad Fitri.
Lee was represented by counsel Orlando Chua while counsels Arthur Lee and David Kuok appeared for Lie and Chin respectively.
Following the judgement, Kayong's family, friends and fellow activists were seen protesting angrily outside the court building.
They had expressed their frustrations especially over the release of the businessman who was alleged to have orchestrated the assignation.
Kayong, 43, whose Muslim name is Mohd Hasbie Abdullah was shot by an unknown person at 8.30am on June 21 while he waited in his Toyota Hilux for the traffic lights at the intersection in Jalan Miri-Bintulu.
It is learnt that the murder of the Miri PKR secretary was believed to be linked to his work as an advocate of social issues, especially on indigenous rights and land issues.

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