PUTRAJAYA (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - A tow truck driver, sentenced to death for murdering Arab-Malaysian Development Bank founder Hussain Ahmad Najadi, in a 2013 Kuala Lumpur shooting has failed in his appeal against the conviction and sentence.
The Court of Appeal dismissed the application by Koong Swee Kwan, 46, on Wednesday (Nov 25) after finding no merit in it.
"Our decision is unanimous," said Justice Mohtarudin Baki, who headed a three-man panel that included Justices Tengku Maimun Tuan Mat and Kamardin Hashim.
The court also rejected Koong's appeal against an 18-year jail term for the attempted murder of Najadi's wife Cheong Mei Kuen, 49.
It made the ruling after hearing submissions from DPP Wan Shaharuddin Wan Ladin and Koong's counsel Hisyam Teh Poh Teik.
Earlier, Teh submitted that his client had been denied a fair trial by the simple reason that the High Court judge may have been influenced by prejudicial evidence in the case of former taxi driver Chew Siang Chee, 47, who had allegedly ferried Koong before the murder.
He said this was because the judge heard Koong's trial and the appeal by Chew - the 17th prosecution witness - where the driver identified Koong as the murderer.
Teh asked for a re-trial before a different judge.
Wan Shaharuddin said that even if the court were to reject Chew's testimony, there was other evidence that showed Koong's overwhelming involvement in the murder.
There were several eyewitnesses who testified that they saw Koong firing shots at Najadi, 75, he told the court.
"Without depending on the 17th prosecution witness' testimony, our case is very strong and there is no need for a re-trial," he submitted.
On Sept 5, High Court judge Justice Mohd Azman Husin found Koong guilty of murdering Najadi and trying to kill Cheong at the Kuan Yin Temple in Jalan Ceylon in central Kuala Lumpur between 1.30pm and 2pm on July 29, 2013.