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Hong Kong courts

Tests by Malaysian professor in yoga ball murder trial were a ‘total sham’ solely for purpose of killing wife, Hong Kong court hears

Explanations defendant Khaw Kim Sun gave to police were ‘wishful thinking and ‘distractions’ from fact he murdered wife and teenage daughter, prosecutor says in summing up

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 13 September, 2018, 8:02pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 13 September, 2018, 9:20pm

A Malaysian professor conducted sham experiments with the sole purpose of getting carbon monoxide with which to murder his estranged wife using a gas-filled yoga ball, a Hong Kong prosecutor told a jury in his closing speech on Thursday.

Summing up his case, prosecutor Andrew Bruce SC rejected explanations given by defendant Khaw Kim Sun as “wishful thinking” and “distractions” from the fact the Chinese University associate professor murdered his wife Wong Siew Fing, 47, and daughter Lily Khaw Li Ling, 16, on May 22, 2015.

“I say the accused is guilty of murder of both his wife and his daughter,” he told the nine jurors, who were expected to deliberate on a verdict at the High Court next week.

Khaw, 53, had denied two counts of murder.

The anaesthesiologist, who used to work at Prince of Wales Hospital in Sha Tin, is accused of placing a gas-filled yoga ball in his wife and daughter’s car, causing them to die of carbon monoxide poisoning. That was while he was having an affair with his student, Shara Lee.

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While no court witnesses were able to say Khaw placed the ball in the car, Bruce urged the jury to be firm. He said although Khaw might have left home earlier than the pair, if he placed the ball in the car an hour or two in advance, the gas released would still be strong enough to take their lives.

“One person, and one person only, remains. The accused,” he said.

Bruce spent most of his time attacking the reasons Khaw gave for his wrongful arrest during interviews with police. Khaw chose not to testify during the trial.

Khaw did not deny taking the carbon monoxide home. But he argued it was to kill rats and did not know why the ball ended up in the yellow Mini Cooper his wife was driving on the day she died.

He claimed his daughter might have committed suicide with it.

But the family helper said she had never seen signs of rats in the house, Bruce reminded the jury.

Filling yoga ball with deadly gas a ‘crazy thing to do’, expert tells court

He also said despite the gas being dangerous, Khaw’s plan did not call for notifying his family and neighbours. Neither did he think about the two cats at home.

“The rat killing story is just another distraction to explain the real purpose of bringing home the carbon monoxide,” Bruce said.

He said it was too convenient for Khaw to claim he had only told Lily, who was afraid of rats, about his plan.

“A great explanation, even if it doesn’t hold a drop of water, was told to that one person who cannot be here to tell us about it,” Bruce said.

Disputing that Lily had committed suicide, Bruce said those who knew her testified in court that she was full of life and looking forward to the future.

He said Lily might have had disagreements with her mother and was unhappy about her family but it did not make her “a suicide candidate”.

“I venture to suggest that what the accused was saying was a form of wishful thinking,” Bruce said.

The court previously heard Khaw performed two experiments involving carbon monoxide days before the alleged murder. Bruce on Thursday called them “a total sham”.

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Various doctors told the court the experiments, which involved injecting carbon monoxide into rabbits, had no scientific value. Bruce said that appeared to be contrary to Khaw’s long list of high achievements, a discrepancy he described as “chalk and cheese”.

“The simple purpose of bringing home the gas is to kill, to kill the wife,” Bruce said.

He said Lily might have been caught up in his murder plan, but if so, Khaw should still be held liable.

Defence counsel Gerard McCoy SC is expected to give his closing speech before Mrs Justice Judianna Barnes Wai-ling on Friday.