Hitman slashing case: Two people involved in attack said they met accused to discuss assault

Ong Hock Chye (above) was identified by two people as one of the men they met to discuss an attack on a businessman's love rival. ST PHOTO: GAVIN FOO

SINGAPORE - Two people, earlier convicted for their roles in the slashing of a businessman's love rival, identified mover Ong Hock Chye, 47, as one of the men they met on April 27, 2016 to discuss the attack.

From the witness stand on Friday (May 18), the slasher, Nur Muhammad Irwan Mohd Ngat, 30, and his then fiancee, Nur Atika Fauziana Sherhan, 22, managed to recognise Ong as he sat in the dock.

However, both of them did not recognise the businessman, Lim Hong Liang, 54, who was sitting beside the mover. The court heard that Lim's name was also absent from the charges that Atika and Irwan had earlier admitted to.

Both Lim, who owns SNL Logistics, and Ong are accused of being involved in a conspiracy to cause grievous hurt to waiter Joshua Koh Kian Yong, now 34, on April 30, 2016.

Beauty queen Audrey Chen Ying Fang, 27, who is jobless, was two-timing Lim with Mr Koh that year.

Irwan, who was jailed for 14½ years with 16 strokes of the cane in December 2016 for grievously hurting Mr Koh and drug trafficking, told District Judge Chay Yuen Fatt on Friday that he knew Ong when they were both behind bars. The court heard that he referred to the mover as "Ah Chye".

Irwan testified that he, Atika and former technician Mohammad Amin Aman, 47, met Ong and a man he knew only as "Ah Ter" at a Toa Payoh coffeeshop on April 27, 2016.

Amin was earlier sentenced to 11 years and nine months' jail as well as 11 strokes of the cane.

Irwan added that Ong offered him a job - to slash Mr Koh - while Ah Ter passed him the waiter's photograph. Irwan also said Ong gave him $1,000 at the eatery and promised him another $4,000 upon completing the task.

When Deputy Public Prosecutor Tan Wen Hsien asked him if he knew why he was asked to commit the slashing, he replied: "I don't have the full details. But I know it's over a girl."

Atika, who was earlier ordered to undergo reformative training following her role in the attack, testified that Irwan later gave her details of a website that could be used to track Mr Koh's whereabouts. She also knew Irwan had been tasked to "leave a mark" on the waiter.

According to earlier reports in The Straits Times, Mr Koh was then travelling in Ms Chen's car. Lim had given her the white Mercedes-Benz which had been fitted with a Global Positioning System (GPS) without her knowledge.

Atika told Judge Chay that, over the next few days, she managed to track down Mr Koh's whereabouts via GPS and even physically followed him about five times.

The vehicle was located in Novena on April 29, 2016, the court heard. She said she told Irwan not to do the job there as there were lots of closed-circuit television cameras (CCTVs) in the area.

Atika said she checked for the presence of CCTV cameras in the vicinity by using images from Google Maps.

The car was later traced to Townshend Road near Little India, where Mr Koh and Ms Chen went to have supper at Huay Kwang Thai Kitchen around 1am on April 30, 2016.

The court heard that Atika later told Irwan that the coffee shop had no CCTV and it was the "right place" to carry out the attack.

Irwan told Judge Chay that he, together with Amin and another man known as Juhari Ab Karim, 34, walked towards Mr Koh. Irwan said Juhari punched Mr Koh. Irwan then slashed the waiter's face before the trio fled the scene.

Irwan testified that he met Ong at Queensway Shopping Centre the next day to get the remaining payment. He and Amin split the $5,000 equally between them. Each man later gave $300 to Juhari, who had earlier been sentenced to 15 months' jail for causing hurt and being a member of an unlawful society.

On March 21, Lim's nephew Ron Lim De Mai, 26, was jailed for three years, with four strokes of the cane, following the slashing.

The trial will resume at a later date.

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