Appeals court seeks details on killer's mental state

Murder suspect Wang Zhijian is being escorted to the crime scene for further investigations by the police.

SINGAPORE - The Court of Appeal on Wednesday adjourned the case of a man who killed three women in a Yishun flat in 2008, calling for more information on his mental state at the time.

Wang Zhijian, 47, was tried for the murders of his lover Zhang Meng, 41, her daughter Feng Jianyu, 17, and flatmate Yang Jie, 36, all fellow Chinese nationals.

Madam Yang's daughter Li Meilin, then 15, was also slashed during the attack on the night of Sept 18, 2008, but survived.

Last year, Wang was found guilty of murdering Madam Yang and given the mandatory death penalty. He was found guilty of culpable homicide in the deaths of Madam Zhang and Jianyu.

The prosecution appealed against his acquittal in the other two murders. Wang appealed against his murder conviction.

At the hearing of these appeals on Wednesday, the three-judge court raised questions about Wang's state of mind when he came to Singapore on Sept 9 that year.

The issues included the contents of a Chinese medicine he was taking, whether a CT scan of his brain ordered by a psychiatrist had been assessed by a neurologist, and the details of a conversation between a psychiatrist and Wang's brother in China.

Judge of Appeal V.K. Rajah made it clear the court was not suggesting the facts "point in a different direction" and said the exercise could lead to the same result.

He said he wanted "to make sure that no stone is left unturned" in the capital case.

During Wang's trial in 2011 and 2012, the court had heard of the tumultuous relationship between him and his lover and of her ill-treatment of Wang when he came from China to visit her.

On the night of Sept 18, they had an argument in her room. Wang then took a knife from the kitchen and stabbed and slashed Madam Zhang 48 times while she was lying on a mattress.

He attacked Jianyu when she opened the door. He then went to the room opposite and attacked Meilin. When her mother fled to the kitchen and climbed out of a window, he slashed at her hands, causing her to lose her grip and fall to her death.

selinal@sph.com.sg

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