KUCHING - A woman and her boyfriend who were accused of getting a hired hand to kill her husband had their manslaughter charge enhanced to murder by the Court of Appeal following an appeal by the prosecution.
Judges Datuk Mohd Zawawi Mohd Salleh, Tan Sri Idrus Harun and Datuk Abdul Rahman Sebli made the ruling yesterday after hearing submissions from both sides.
They ordered the case transferred to the High Court for trial under Section 302 of the Penal Code which provides for the mandatory death penalty upon conviction, and fixed mention for Feb 16.
The three-member panel also set aside the High Court decision on Oct 23 last year to reduce the charges against the couple from abetment in murder to manslaughter.
Christine Ling Hang Tsyr, 31, and car salesman Andrew Tiong King Guan, 27, had allegedly abetted Ling Hoe Ing by hiring him to kill HSBC Sibu branch manager Stephen Wong Jing Kui, 31, at a house in Ulu Sungai Merah on June 14, 2012.
Hoe Ing, 24, was sentenced to 16 years' jail after pleading guilty on Oct 1, 2013, to culpable homicide not amounting to murder.
Christine was taken into custody after the Court of Appeal's decision. The court issued an arrest warrant against Tiong, who was absent from the hearing.
Senior Federal Counsel Muhamad Iskandar Ahmad and DPP Mirza Mohd appeared for the prosecution while Tiong and Christine were represented by Orlando Chua and Roger Chin respectively.
Wong's sister Hie Huong, who was in court together with other family members of the deceased, expressed relief and gratitude over the reinstatement of the murder charges.
"We have gone through an emotional rollercoaster from the time of the murder till now," she said.