MIRI: The Miri High Court has discharged and acquitted Lie Chang Loon, Chin Wui Ching and businessman Stephen Lee Chee Kiang, who carried the honorific title Datuk, of the charge of abetting in the murder of PKR Miri branch secretary and activist Bill Kayong on June 21, 2016.
The three were charged with abetting Mohamad Fitri Fauzi under Section 109 of the Penal Code together with Section 302 of the same code that carries the mandatory death sentence upon conviction.
High Court judge Ravinthran N Paramaguru when making the ruling on Tuesday in the packed courtroom, said there were no evidence tendered by the prosecution during the proceedings that linked the involvement of the three accused to the murder of Bill Kayong.
“I discharge and acquit them of the abetment charge,” he said when delivering his oral judgment that lasted for 15 minutes from 11.30am Tuesday.
Lie, 38, a pub owner, Chin, 51, a personal assistant to businessman Lee, 46, appeared calm when the judge delivered the verdict.
As for Fitri, the court ordered the 30-year old bouncer to enter his defence after the prosecution had provided sufficient evidence on the accused’s involvement in the murder.
Fitri who was charged under Section 302 of the Penal Code, nodded when the translator explained to him the verdict meted out by the judge, who then fixed June 14 to 16 for his trial.
Bill Kayong or his Muslim name, Mohd Hasbie Abdullah, was shot at the traffic light intersection near E-Mart Supermarket in Tudan, Miri-Kuala Baram bypass about 8.20am on June 21, 2016.
Twenty-eight prosecution witnesses were called since the trial began on March 17, this year which attracted large crowds from the Dayak community here as the deceased was well known for his work , especially in defending their ownership of Native Customary Rights (NCR) land.
Meanwhile, Bill Kayong’s widow, Hasyikin Hatta, 42, appeared stunned after the court delivered its verdict and efforts to get her comments were denied by her relatives.