Man to face trial for allegedly murdering female jogger 8 years ago

Man to face trial for allegedly murdering female jogger 8 years ago

PUTRAJAYA, Malaysia - The man accused of killing Chee Gaik Yap, who was found raped and murdered in Sungai Petani eight years ago, will now face a full trial before the Alor Star High Court.

The Court of Appeal panel, led by Justice Linton Albert, unanimously set aside car salesman Shahril Jaafar's acquittal and discharge, ruling there was merit in having the accused enter his defence.

"We order that he (Shahril) also be placed in remand forthwith," said Justice Linton.

The three-man panel, which included Justices Moktarudin Baki and Abdul Rahman Sebli, set Oct 19 for case mention before the Alor Star High Court.

DPP Awang Armadajaya Awang Mahmud submitted on Thursday that although four of the five DNA samples was a 100 per cent match with the accused, the fifth sample contained foreign DNA and could have been contaminated as Chee's body was found by the roadside.

He said the fact that Shahril, who is a Datuk's son, fled to Australia after Chee's body was found and was only arrested three years later, suggested he was of a guilty mind.

Shahril's counsel Shamsul Sulaiman argued that though his client's semen was found on Chee, the chemist's findings were that intercourse could have been consensual, which is why Shahril was not charged with rape.

Shamsul added that there was also no direct evidence to show Shahril killed Chee, and that a third party could have committed the murder.

Gaik Yap's father Chee Ah Sau, who came from Alor Star to attend proceedings, told reporters he was relieved the case would finally be heard in full.

On June 25 last year, the Alor Star High Court acquitted and discharged Shahril of murdering Gaik Yap, after finding that the prosecution had failed to prove a prima facie case.

Shahril, 33, had been charged with the murder that took place between 5.30pm on Jan 14, 2006, and 3.05am on Jan 15, 2006, near the Cinta Sayang Club in Taman Ria Jaya, Sungai Petani.

Gaik Yap, a marketing executive and Universiti Utara Malaysia graduate, was believed to have been tailed by her assailant while jogging in the neighbourhood of Taman Ria Jaya in Sungai Petani.

She was kidnapped, raped and killed before her body was dumped at the housing estate.

Judicial Commisioner Zaki Abdul Wahab ruled that there was no evidence to show the accused stabbed his victim.

He added it was circumstantial evidence that Shahril lived near the area and owned a similar Naza car as the one spotted near the scene of the crime.

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