Choa Chu Kang case: Man blames friend for murder of wife's lover

Chia Kee Chen has been charged with murdering Mr Dexmon Chua Yizhi in December 2013 and his trial has been scheduled to start in October.
PHOTO: The Straits Times

His friends could have taken it upon themselves to attack his wife's former lover to teach him a lesson.

This was what fish farm owner Chia Kee Chen told the police shortly after he was arrested on suspicion of being involved in Mr Dexmon Chua's disappearance.

Chia also said that he did not know what Mr Dexmon looked like because he had not seen the man before.

But when pressed further, Chia later told the police that he could help them find Mr Dexmon's body in Lim Chu Kang.

These details were revealed in an extract of Chia's interview with the police that was produced in court yesterday.

Chia, now 56, is on trial for murdering Mr Dexmon, 37, a materials analyst at a food packaging company, in a borrowed van between Dec 28 and Dec 29 in 2013.

Indonesian national Febri Irwansyah Djatmiko, 33, who is still at large, had allegedly helped Chia carry out the murder before they dumped the body at a military live firing area in Lim Chu Kang.

Mr Dexmon's decomposing body, which had extensive head injuries, was later found by the police.

Yesterday, the prosecution produced an extract of Chia's interview with Deputy Superintendent (DSP) Ang Leong Peng on Jan 1, 2014. In the interview, Chia said that Mr Dexmon had an affair with his wife, Madam Serene Goh.

He said that he had considered hiring someone to teach Mr Dexmon a lesson.

He also said that he told a friend from Malaysia, known only as Ali, about his marital woes, and Ali had offered to deal with Mr Dexmon for $5,000.

But Chia said no deal was ever made.

He told DSP Ang that Ali, with help from Febri, who is also known as Yee, could have taught Mr Dexmon a lesson without his consent.

DSP Ang then asked Chia how his friends were able to find Mr Dexmon when he had earlier claimed he could not recognise Mr Dexmon.

Chia appeared to be in a daze and did not answer the question, DSP Ang noted.

Chia also said he had borrowed a van from his sister-in-law's friend to transport fish.

On Dec 29, at around midnight, he found the van missing from the carpark, and suspected that his two friends had taken it, he said.

He said the duo later returned with the van. Febri then accompanied Chia to meet the latter's brother-in-law.

After a while, Chia mixed up the friend's name and referred to him as Ali.

This prompted DSP Ang to ask Chia if he was hiding something regarding Mr Dexmon, who had been reported missing after his family found blood stains and a packet of food near his car.

TREE

Chia hesitated before suddenly saying that he could help the police find Mr Dexmon's body because it was very likely that his two friends had tied Mr Dexmon to a tree so that he would be bitten by ants.

On New Year's Day in 2014, he led the police to Mr Dexmon's body in Lim Chu Kang.

Chia told the police in another statement that he had not touched Mr Dexmon or fought with anyone on Dec 28, despite admitting that he was near the carpark where Mr Dexmon had parked his car.

The trial continues today. If convicted of murder, Chia faces the death penalty or life imprisonment.

rloh@sph.com.sg

This article was first published on October 28, 2016. Get The New Paper for more stories.