Life term for man who murdered wife's former lover

Right: Chia Kee Chen, 57, was found guilty of forcing the victim into the back of a van and assaulting him. Above: Accomplice Chua Leong Aik, 67, who drove the van, is serving a five-year term.
Chia Kee Chen, 57, was found guilty of forcing the victim into the back of a van and assaulting him. PHOTO: SIN MIN DAILY NEWS
Right: Chia Kee Chen, 57, was found guilty of forcing the victim into the back of a van and assaulting him. Above: Accomplice Chua Leong Aik, 67, who drove the van, is serving a five-year term.
Above: Accomplice Chua Leong Aik, 67, who drove the van, is serving a five-year term.PHOTO: SIN MIN DAILY NEWS

Businessman escapes gallows; court says it was possible accomplice inflicted fatal blow

A businessman who murdered his wife's former lover was sentenced to life imprisonment by the High Court yesterday.

Chia Kee Chen, 57, was found guilty in January of forcing the victim, material analyst Dexmon Chua Yizhi, 37, into the back of a van and assaulting him between Dec 28 and Dec 29, 2013.

He had an accomplice, Indonesian Febri Irwansyah Djatmiko, 35, who fled the country.

A second accomplice, Chua Leong Aik, 67, who drove the van, is serving a five-year term.

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Yesterday, Justice Choo Han Teck said Chia had the motive and intention to kill, but it was possible Febri may have inflicted the fatal blow.

Chia's lawyer Anand Nalachandran told reporters his client was relieved that he escaped the gallows.

Last month, prosecutors asked that Chia be given the death penalty for the "savage" and "cruel" killing. The victim was tied up and thrown into the back of the van, and was battered so viciously that almost every bone in his face was fractured.

Chia found out about his wife's extramarital affair in November 2012. The victim had made police reports about Chia making threatening phone calls to him and stalking him.

 
 
 

Last month, prosecutors asked that Chia be given the death penalty for the "savage" and "cruel" killing. The victim was tied up and thrown into the back of the van, and was battered so viciously that almost every bone in his face was fractured.

On the day of the murder, Chia attended a wedding lunch with his family and had a nap before picking up the borrowed van. He then calmly waited for Mr Chua to show up at a carpark in Choa Chu Kang, where the victim lived.

After dumping Mr Chua's body at a military live-firing area in Lim Chu Kang, Chia cleaned the van and then went to Malaysia for a holiday with his family.

During his trial, Chia said he and his accomplices were trying to retrieve from the victim a thumb drive containing video footage of his wife having sex.

He also denied assaulting the victim and downplayed his role in the murder, pinning the blame on a man named "Ali".

The defence lawyer asked that Chia be given life imprisonment, saying there were contradictions between the accounts of Febri and Chua Leong Aik.

Febri gave his version of events to the Indonesian police, and this was submitted during the trial.

Mr Nalachandran argued that the plan was to only abduct the victim, and there was no conclusive evidence that Chia had any plan to commit murder.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 05, 2017, with the headline 'Life term for man who murdered wife's former lover'. Print Edition | Subscribe