Yoga ball murder case

Indonesian maid lifts lid on complicated life of Hong Kong family in yoga ball killings, as pathologist’s testimony reduces accused professor to tears

Court told that Malaysian professor continued to live with wife he was cheating on, while she only made meals for herself and four children

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 23 August, 2018, 5:20pm
UPDATED : Monday, 03 September, 2018, 8:10pm

A former Chinese University professor, who is accused of murdering his wife and daughter using a gas-filled yoga ball, was living a separate life to his spouse, the couple’s former helper told a Hong Kong court on Thursday.

Khaw Kim Sun, a Malaysian national, who was having an affair with one of his students, is accused of murdering Wong Siew Fing, 47, and 16-year-old daughter Khaw Li Ling, on May 22, 2015.

On the second day of his trial, Khaw, 53, wept in the dock at the High Court as a forensic pathologist described the postmortem carried out on his daughter’s body.

His sudden outburst in the morning session prompted Judge Judianna Barnes Wai-ling to adjourn the trial and break for an early lunch.

The anaesthesiologist, who used to work at Prince of Wales Hospital in Sha Tin, wiped his eyes and nose with a tissue when he heard Dr Foo Ka-chung describe his examination of the girl.

In what prosecutors called a “deliberate and calculated” murder plot, Khaw ordered carbon monoxide through his university office, claiming it was for research purposes.

But prosecutors said he ended up using it to fill up a yoga ball, which he then unplugged and placed inside Wong’s car. The two victims were found unconscious in a Mini Cooper at the Sai O Village bus stop in Ma On Shan. They were later declared dead by carbon monoxide poisoning at Prince of Wales Hospital.

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The couple’s helper, Siti Maesaroh, gave evidence on Thursday that Khaw and Wong had been sleeping in separate rooms since she had started working for the couple and their four children.

“Ma’am did the cooking for the children,” the Indonesian maid said, adding that “sir made it [his own meals] for himself”.

Maesaroh also said that the couple only drove their own cars, Wong in the Mini Cooper, and Khaw Kim Sun a Toyota.

Just before the pair died, the helper said she did not see Wong carry a yoga ball to her car, when she and the daughter, who Maesaroh called Lily, got into the vehicle.

Dr Foo, who examined the bodies, told the court he found no physical injuries on either victim.

He estimated they probably died between 12.45pm and 2.45pm that day, a time period consistent with what the prosecution had earlier told the court.

For Wong, Foo said a postmortem examination found a carbon monoxide level in her blood of 50 per cent, or 10 per cent above the lethal level. It was 41 per cent in the daughter’s body.

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The court previously heard that the gas, if inhaled abundantly, could cause vision impairment and even death.

Foo also said he found traces of antidepressants in Wong’s body, consistent with what he was told that she suffered from a mental illness.

The court previously heard that the wife knew about Khaw’s lover, a student surnamed Lee, and had grown to accept it, but refused her husband’s request for a divorce.

The trial continues.