GEORGE TOWN: Three men, two of whom are brothers, were acquitted yesterday of kidnapping an 18-year-old boy nine years ago. The High Court freed brothers Foo Yong Cheong, 47, and Yong Poh, 37, as well as Lee Eng Seong, 36, without calling for their defence.
Judicial commissioner Yaakob Md Sam ruled that the prosecution had failed to prove a prima facie case against the three accused.
They were jointly charged with kidnapping the boy, now 26, at Kedai Peng, No. 7073, lower ground, Jalan Raja Uda, Taman Uda flats in Butterworth about 8.55pm on Feb 20, 2001.
They allegedly committed the offence with another person still at large.
Yaakob, in his decision, said the identification of the accused by the victim at the scene was unreliable and so was the identification parade due to the length of time after the alleged offence.
The trio were arrested on Nov 21, 2005, four years and nine months after the incident.
Yaakob said there was also no corroborative evidence as the victim's friend, who was at the shop at the time of the incident, could not identify the three men.
A total of 11 prosecution witnesses testified at the trial, which commenced on July 2 last year.
Yong Cheong and Yong Poh were represented by Dev Kumaraendran and Hussaini Rashid respectively while Lee was represented by R.S.N. Rayer.
Deputy public prosecutors Suhaimi Ibrahim and Shakila Banu Shaik Alaudeen prosecuted.