Gardens by the Bay murder trial: Video clips show victim was temperamental, says defence

Police investigators at the site at Lim Chu Kang Lane 8 where Ms Cui Yajie's decomposed remains were found on July 21, 2016.
Police investigators at the site at Lim Chu Kang Lane 8 where Ms Cui Yajie's decomposed remains were found on July 21, 2016.PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - Two video clips of engineer Cui Yajie yelling at the man who now stands accused of murdering her were played in court on Tuesday (March 19), as the defence sought to show that he had been provoked into killing her.

In one, Ms Cui appeared furious in a video call with Leslie Khoo Kwee Hock. She asked him why he posted photos of his wife, whom she believed he had divorced, but not of her on his Facebook page.

In the second, Ms Cui was being filmed as she was going through her mobile phone. "Did I allow you to take a video of me?" she could be heard saying angrily.

The videos, recovered from Khoo's mobile phone, were used to support his assertion that she was a temperamental woman.

On the stand on Tuesday, Khoo maintained he was not in a romantic relationship with Ms Cui, even though he admitted he had a "bad habit" of committing adultery.

He said they were just normal friends and that he had helped her to "repay her kindness" for handing him $20,000. He called her Meow Meow and did not even know her full name, he said.

He said she was always the one who made the first move, to ask him out for meals, to ask him to buy things for her, and he merely obliged as he was nice and wanted to help her.

 
 
 

It was on her instructions that he delivered a gold chain, flowers and birthday cake to her office on her birthday, he said.

Khoo said he agreed to accompany her to a company event with her and act as her boyfriend in front of her colleagues.

However, in cross-examination, Deputy Attorney-General Hri Kumar Nair called him a liar.

The senior counsel pointed to Khoo's police statements, in which the accused said that as the quarrels between them became more frequent, he repeatedly told her to leave him.

Mr Nair noted that Khoo was telling her to break up with him. But Khoo replied that he never used the words "break up".

When Mr Nair noted that Khoo had proposed to Ms Cui, the accused said he was just "testing" her. Pressed further, Khoo said this was because she would tell him "strange things".

"The only thing strange is your answer," said Mr Nair.

Khoo added: "I'm testing her because she asked me to buy things for her. I wanted to know what is her intention."

When Mr Nair also pointed out that Ms Cui wanted to bear Khoo's children, he dismissed this as a joke on her part.