High Court frees three men in JB petrol station murder case

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JOHOR BAHRU (Sept 6): Three men who were charged with the murder of a man at a petrol station in Taman Pelangi here three years ago were acquitted and discharged by the High Court here today. 

Judicial Commissioner Dr Shahnaz Sulaiman freed Gan Jia Ji, 22, Yip Kah Hou, 26 and Woon Kian Hui, 25, after finding that the prosecution had failed to prove a prima facie case against the trio. 

Shahnaz in her ruling said there were several reasons for the court's decision.

“The closed-circuit camera (CCTV) footage at the petrol station were too blurry to link the three accused to the case. 

“The deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) samples were also not compatible with blood found at the location, this in addition to investigations not done on the alibis,” she said when reading out her judgement. 

Shahnaz said the prosecution had also failed to link the BMW car to the murder. 

Gan and five others still at large were accused of causing the death of Tan Aik Chai, 44, at a petrol station at 7.30pm on Dec 17, 2017, along Jalan Sri Pelangi in Taman Pelangi here.

Yip and Woon, along with two others still at large, were accused of abetting the murder with Gan and five others still at large at the same time and place. 

Gan was charged under Section 302 of the Penal Code, which carries a mandatory death sentence upon conviction while Yip and Woon were charged under Section 302 of the Penal Code read together with Section 109 and Section 34 of the same Act, which also carries a mandatory death sentence upon conviction.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Suriani Ujang prosecuted while Gan was represented by Datin S.Freda, Che Azlin Farahannis Evani, Foo Fang Leong and Veeranesh Babu.

Yip was represented by lawyer Chuah Shyue Chien while counsels Ram Karpal Singh and Harshaan Zamani represented Wong. 

A total of 22 witnesses were called to testify in the trial that began last year, during which 42 exhibits were produced.