SENIOR LAW CORRESPONDENT
A Myanmar national who was alleged to have tried, with three others, to kidnap and kill a countryman was given a discharge not amounting to an acquittal (DNATA) by a district judge yesterday.
Yae Wynnt Oaung, a 33-year-old trader, was set free after being in remand since June 24 for abetting a conspiracy to commit murder.
He was also given a six-week jail term for driving offences, which was backdated to his remand.
Oaung was said to have schemed with Phyo Min Naing, 31; Zaw Min Hlaing, 37; and Kyaw Kyaw Aung alias Aung Aung, 29; to abduct Mr Aye Maung Maung Thet, 29, from a multi-storey car park in Pasir Ris Street 71 on June 20 and take him to a Changi chalet in order to kill him.
Two of the men were alleged to have tasered the victim in the bid to abduct him, but they bolted after his cries for help attracted passers-by. Aung Aung fled the country days later and is still at large.
Oaung, who was not at the crime scene, and Naing were arrested the next day at a chalet at Changi, where an array of items recovered included potential murder tools such as a chainsaw, kitchen knives and a cleaver.
At yesterday's hearing, deputy public prosecutor John Lu said the prosecution had reviewed the evidence in the case and sought the DNATA for Oaung.
It is understood Oaung's lawyer R. S. Bajwa had also made submissions to the public prosecutor, which led to yesterday's turn of events.
Mr Lu said that in the course of the probe, Oaung was found to have committed 116 charges of driving without a licence and without valid insurance. These offences were committed over three weeks in June, all over the island, from Orchard Road to Hume Avenue and East Coast Parkway.
Prosecutors proceeded with 20 charges while the 96 remaining were taken into consideration.
Mr Bajwa pointed out in mitigation that Oaung had pleaded guilty to all charges at first instance and volunteered information that led to the charges.
He sought a jail term in lieu of a fine, which his client could not afford to pay, and that the term be backdated to the five months and 28 days he had already served.
District Judge Low Wee Ping said: "It's quite amazing you drove all around Singapore without a driving licence and without valid insurance coverage."
He convicted Oaung and sentenced him to a week's jail for each of the 20 charges in total, and ordered that the first three of both sets of charges run consecutively, with the rest running concurrently.The jail term was backdated to when he was first taken into custody in June.
Oaung came to Singapore on a social visit pass on June 1 to manage his import and export business.
It was Hlaing, who is a Singapore permanent resident and is currently in remand, who rented the Toyota vehicle used by Oaung.
Oaung's mother, Madam Tin May, 60, was present in court yesterday and said through a translator: "I am relieved and happy with the result and am grateful to the Singapore justice authorities as well as the efforts of my son's lawyer."
This article was first published on December 22, 2015.
Get a copy of The Straits Times or go to straitstimes.com for more stories.