Circumstantial evidence insufficient to form a noose strong enough to hang the appellant.
The Kuching Court of Appeal acquitted Ling Hang Tsyr, from abetting in the murder of her husband, Wong Jing Kui, a former HSBC branch manager in Sibu in 2012.
Judge Datuk Zabariah Mohd Yusof who read out the judgement also set aside the death sentence imposed on her by the High Court in Sibu in 2017.
The unanimous decision was made by her and the two other judges, Datuk Suraya Othman and Datuk Wira Kamaludin Md Said.
Zabariah said the decision was made after the prosecution failed to come up with direct evidence, thus it was not safe to convict on gaps in the circumstantial evidence.
“The circumstantial evidence was insufficient to form a noose strong enough to hang the appellant,” she said after reading out the judgement for almost two hours.
The appellant was represented by counsels Lim Heng Choo and Roger Chin, while DPP Tengku Intan Suraya Tengku Ismail handled the case.
Ling and her boyfriend Tiong King Guan were accused of abetting the principal accused, Ling Hoe Ing, 28, in killing Wong at his Jalan Ulu Sg Merah home at about 1.30am on June 14, 2012.
In October 2017, the appellant was sentenced to death by the High Court in Sibu after being found guilty of abetting the murder of her husband and ordered to be held in the Kuching Prison pending the outcome of her appeal against the sentence.
Tiong in the meantime was still at large, while Hoe Ing was jailed 16 years after he pleaded guilty on Oct 1, 2013, to an alternative charge of culpable homicide.
Roger applauded the decision made by the Court of Appeal judges today, saying that they had made the right decision, and the appellant deserved her freedom today.
“What we would like to emphasise here is that she has been in prison for seven years, she was arrested in 2012. I think justice is served already, I think the Court of Appeal made the right decision because there is no evidence, too many doubts, she is entitled to her freedom today,” he said.
Apart from the lack of evidence, Roger said there was also no motive for the appellant to be involved in the murder of her husband.
“Because the High Court said the murder was because of insurance policy, she wanted to inherit insurance policy from the deceased, but this court had never said that, that was true, because that was never proven and if you look at the evidence, the investigation officer of the case, he confirmed that she inherited nothing from the deceased.
“They were also going through a divorce if they are going through divorce why must she kill the husband, so what is the motive to kill? So this court says there is no motive to kill, she inherits nothing, she doesn’t know the killer, and at the end of the day, the Court of Appeal concludes there was no link (for her to be involved in the murder),” he said.
Right after the court adjourned, Ling who was still sitting in the dock and wearing a white jacket, was hugged by her father.
With teary eyes, he expressed his happiness to the media, saying that Ling’s son had been waiting for her and asking whether she would be coming back home, today.