The Ampang Magistrate’s Court here today acquitted and discharged a ‘Datuk Seri’ businessman on two charges of assaulting two members of the People’s Volunteer Corps (Rela) from carrying out their duties at a temple two years ago.
Magistrate Mohamad Firdaus Sadina Ali made the decision after the accused, Liow Soon Hee, 31, and the two victims, Lee Weng Poh, 29, and Leong Jun Jie, 23, agreed to settle the matter.
Liow paid a compound of RM2,000 each as settlement to both the victims.
His lawyer Datuk Rajpal Singh, told the court that Liow had regretted his actions. The trial was initially set to continue today.
Firdaus then summoned both the victims asking them if they were compelled to accept the compound or had done so willingly. He also explained that the case would not continue once they received the compound.
The two victims through an interpreter then informed the court that they agreed to the RM2,000 compound and had done so willingly.
“As both parties have agreed to settle the case under Section 260 of the Criminal Procedure Code, the court will now allow the RM2,000 compound to be paid to both victims and the court will acquit and discharge the accused of the charges,” Firdaus said.
Liow then paid the compound in cash to both victims. They were then seen shaking hands with each other.
Earlier before the trial, Rajpal told the court that his client wanted to settle the case by paying the compound and to save the court’s time.
Nur Intan Syakieraah Zakaria who appeared for the prosecution did not object.
On Oct 27, 2017, Liow was slapped with three charges of assaulting Melvin Lee Weng Poh, 28, and Leong Jun Jie, 22, in the compound of the Kou Ong Yah Temple at Jalan Merdeka in Kampung Baru, Ampang.
The charge under Section 323 of the Penal Code, provides for a maximum jail term of one year or a fine of RM2,000, or both, upon conviction.
However, last September the same court had granted a discharge not amounting to an acquittal to Liow on two other charges of assaulting and obstructing a Rela member from carrying out his duties.
The decision was made after deputy public prosecutor Norhashimah Hashim informed the court that one of the three victims in the case had withdrawn his police report against Liow.
Yesterday, City police chief Commissioner Datuk Seri Mazlan Lazim issued a statement saying that Liow was being sought by police for involvement in an armed attack at a nightclub along Old Klang Road on May 3.
After his acquittal today, Liow, who was swarmed by members of the media, rushed into his MPV and left.
Mazlan said yesterday that police believe jealousy over a woman was the motive behind the attack at the night club.
Investigators found that the attack at the Old Klang Road night club followed a prior fight earlier the same day at another nightclub in Cheras.
So far police have nabbed 14 suspects, all men, aged between 26 and 47.
He said police were looking for four more suspects to facilitate investigations and urged any suspects to surrender.
Mazlan said: “He (Liow) is wanted to assist in the investigation because there might be some connection to the main culprit behind the attack.
“Police is also probing the possibility of a partner to the outlet’s owner being involved in gang activities,” he added.
On the night of May 3, a group of men armed with sticks went to the outlet, and damaged property worth RM200,000.
No one was harmed during the attack.
The case is being investigated under Section 427 of the Penal Code for damaging public property and under Section 148 of the Penal Code for committing mischief and rioting.
Although ‘Dato Seri’ Liow is being sought by KL police over a rioting case that occurred on Old Klang Road last week and had his photo released to the public via the media on Thursday, he was seen freely leaving the court compound in the presence of the police personnel stationed there.
The Sun reported that when it contacted KL police to seek clarification on why Liow was not held when he is being sought for investigations, and was told that there “was a miscommunication and that court police might not be aware that he (Liow) is wanted, because they (court police) are from different police departments”.
Related report: May 10, Police Seek ‘Datuk Seri’ from Rela Case over Attack on Old Klang Road Nightclub