Car salesman acquitted of murder

ALOR STAR (June 25, 2013): A car salesman escaped the mandatory death sentence when the High Court here today acquitted him of murdering a female marketing executive seven years ago.

Shahril Jaafar, on hearing the verdict, rushed out of the dock and bolted from the courtroom immediately after Judicial Commissioner Datuk Mohd Zaki Abdul Wahab handed down his decision.

Looking dazed, he stopped in front of a group of press photographers who were taking his picture, and had to be called by a policeman to return to the dock.

In his judgment, Mohd Zaki said Shahril's DNA and the semen stains taken from the woman's private part did not match.

He said a post-mortem found that the woman died due to stab wounds on the neck and not because she was raped.

He added that the prosecution had failed to prove Shahril had stabbed the victim and the possibility of a third person being involved, based on evidence by witnesses, could not be ruled out.

Mohd Zaki said he was acquitting the accused because there was no clear evidence to implicate him in the murder.

The case received public attention as Shahril, 33, whose businessman father has a "Datuk" title, had fled to Perth in 2006 and had obtained permanent resident status there.

Shahril fled the country after he was released on police bail pending a DNA test, but was apprehended by police at the KL International Airport on arrival from Perth on Jan 17 last year.

He was charged with murdering Chee Gaip Yap, 25, in the compound of Kelab Cinta Sayang, Sungai Petani, between 5.30pm on Jan 14, 2006 and 3.05am the following day.

The victim's body was semi-nude when discovered on Jan 15 and she is believed to have been raped. – Bernama