Love-triangle murder trial

Accused: I had not thought of revenge

He concedes that any man would be angry but says affairs are 'very common' here

On the last day of the trial of a 56-year-old businessman accused of murdering his wife's former lover, prosecutors asserted that a mystery man he had sought to pin the crime on did not exist.

Chia Kee Chen denies assaulting the victim, Mr Dexmon Chua Yizhi, and blames someone called Ali. Chia says he hired Ali to get a thumb drive from the former lover which contained sex videos of his wife and claims he last saw the victim being dragged into Ali's van.

Yesterday, Deputy Public Prosecutor Eugene Lee contended that Chia had made Ali up. He noted it was puzzling that Ali could not be contacted by phone but appeared in the accused's account at convenient moments.

The DPP put it to Chia that he had killed Mr Chua because he was angry with the younger man for having had an affair with his wife and wanted revenge.

Testifying through a Hokkien interpreter, Chia conceded calmly: "As a man, who would allow his wife to have an affair with another man? Who would not be angry?"

ONLY NATURAL

As a man, who would allow his wife to have an affair with another man? Who would not be angry?

ACCUSED CHIA KEE CHEN

In the same breath, Chia, who has another wife and three children in Indonesia, continued: "I had not thought of taking revenge against Dexmon." He added that affairs are "very common in Singapore".

Chia faces the death penalty or life imprisonment if convicted of murdering Mr Chua, together with his Indonesian worker Febri Irwansyah Djatmiko, 34, in the back of a borrowed van between Dec 28 and 29 in 2013.

Febri is still at large. A second accomplice, Chua Leong Aik, 67, who drove the van but fled after he was frightened by the sounds coming from the back, is serving a five-year jail term for abduction and causing grievous hurt. Both men did not mention Ali in their statements.

The prosecution's case is that Chia and Febri had forced the victim into the van, tied his ankles and wrists, and assaulted him.

Prosecutors allege that the pair dumped the body at a live-firing area in Lim Chu Kang and washed the van at a nearby fish farm before returning the vehicle.

Chia led police to the victim's decomposed body on Jan 1, 2014. An autopsy found he died from facial injuries so severe that almost every bone in his face had been fractured.

Yesterday, DPP Lee confronted Chia with his police statement on Jan 11, 2014, in which he had described how Febri and he had hit the victim with a hammer.

Chia replied he had just signed whatever was given to him because he could not withstand the cold in the lock-up.

"You are lying as the evidence of blood spatter patterns on the sides, back and ceiling of the van indicates that Dexmon had been assaulted inside the van," said the DPP.

The DPP added that the victim's blood was found on the driver's and front passenger seat, meaning that Febri and Chia had assaulted the victim so badly that his blood had got on them and was later transferred to the seats.

Chia insisted that he did not assault the victim.

His testimony brought the trial to a close after seven days. The verdict is expected on Jan 17 next year.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 04, 2016, with the headline 'Accused: I had not thought of revenge'. Print Edition | Subscribe