SINGAPORE - Suspicious and upset about a long distance call that his wife had made to an unknown person in India, Harvinder Singh punched 33-year-old Indian national Jasvinder Kaur and left her lying on the bed.
He thought she had passed out and realised only later that she had died.
Local media reported that District Judge Marvin Bay accepted investigation findings that foul play was suspected in the death of Ms Kaur, a beautician. The court found that she had been murdered by her 35-year-old husband on Dec 11, 2013. The coroner's inquiry found that the killing was an organised one, even if it was a crime of passion.
Kaur's headless body was found floating in Whampoa River on the morning of Dec 12. Her corpse was wrapped in black trash bags, with the legs exposed and hands severed at the wrists.
Her head and hands have not been found.
Investigation officer DSP Roy Lim from the Special Investigation Section of the Criminal Investigation Department said that Harvinder's friend, Gursharan Singh, a forklift driver, revealed that Ms Kaur made phone calls to an unidentified person, but ended them when her husband came close to her.
Gursharan was later found to have helped Harvinder to dispose of Ms Kaur's body at the canal, near the couple's residence at 228A Balestier Road.
He said Harvinder explained to him that he had fought that morning with Kaur, and punched her once on the neck. She then passed out on the bed, and he left her there, thinking she was unconscious.
When he found her in the same position much later, he realised she was dead, and decided to put her body in the luggage bag and get rid of it.
After Harvinder explained that Ms Kaur's body was in the luggage bag, Gursharan proceeded to help him transport the bag to the canal. Gursharan said Harvinder told him to walk away. As Gursharan left, he heard a splash from the canal behind him.
Ms Kaur's employer told investigators after she did not turn up for work on Dec 11, Harvinder called to say that his wife was returning to India.
Gursharan said in statements that Harvinder called him in the morning on the day that Ms Kaur's body was found, and he was going to flee to Malaysia. He received another call by Harvinder from a Malaysian line that evening, disclosing his plans to leave Malaysia.
Investigations revealed that he travelled back to India, where local authorities were unable to trace him. He is now on Interpol's wanted list.
Gursharan had been previously charged with allegedly murdering Ms Kaur, but he was given a discharge not amounting to an aquittal. He was convicted on two new charges of causing murder evidence to disappear and not reporting the offence to police. He was sentenced to 30 months' jail.