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Flashback Friday: Huang Na murder trial starts on July 11, 2005

Published on Jul 11, 2014 3:57 PM

SINGAPORE - Huang Na's mother Madam Liu Qiuying was one of 76 prosecution witnesses who could send Penang-born market stall assistant Took Leng How to the gallows in a trial which started on July 11, 2005.

Took was accused of murdering eight-year-old Chinese national Huang Na. His defence team was led by veteran criminal lawyer Subhas Anandan, together with Anand Nalachandran and Chung Ping Shen.

Took and Madam Liu's were once co-workers at the same vegetable stall at the Pasir Panjang Wholesale Centre. Together with her daughter and her mother-in-law, Madam Liu - a Fujian native also known as Madam Huang Shuying - used to share a three-room Housing Board flat with Took and three other people.

Huang Na, a Primary 2 pupil at Jin Tai Primary School, went missing on Oct 10, 2004, and her disappearance sparked one of the biggest missing persons hunts here.

The case gripped the nation, with many coming forward to lend a helping hand. Volunteers distributed pamphlets calling for information. Others joined in the search. A retired company director even offered a $10,000 reward.

The girl's body was eventually found in a cardboard box sealed with masking tape in dense undergrowth at Telok Blangah Hill, just hours after Penang-born Took was returned to Singapore on Oct 31, 2004. He had fled across the Causeway on Oct 21 before eventually surrendering to Malaysian police.

The drama ended with Took being sentenced to the death penalty by Justice Lai Kew Chai on Aug 26, 2005. Took appealed against his conviction and death sentence, but his appeal was unsuccessful.

His final bid to be spared the noose was his plea for clemency, which was rejected by then President S R Nathan. Took was hanged in November 2006.