Hong Kong court finds academic guilty in ‘yoga-ball’ murder case

The professor also told police after his arrest that Lily knew about the dangerous gas in the yoga ball, and suggested she may have wanted to commit suicide. (Shutter stock)
Updated 19 September 2018
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Hong Kong court finds academic guilty in ‘yoga-ball’ murder case

  • The wife, Wong Siew-fing, and 16-year-old daughter Lily were found by the roadside in a locked yellow Mini Cooper in 2015
  • Police found a deflated yoga ball in the back of the car

HONG KONG: A Malaysian professor was jailed for life in Hong Kong Wednesday for murdering his wife and teenage daughter using a yoga ball filled with carbon monoxide which he had placed in their car.
Khaw Kim-sun, 53, shook his head and looked at his three other children sitting in court on hearing the verdict, broadcaster RTHK reported. One of them burst into tears.
Prosecutors had told the High Court that Khaw left the inflatable ball in the boot of a car and the gas leaked out and killed them.
His wife Wong Siew-fing and 16-year-old daughter Lily were found by the roadside in a locked yellow Mini Cooper in 2015 in a case which initially baffled police.
The pair were certified dead at the same hospital where Khaw worked and a post-mortem concluded they had died from inhaling carbon monoxide. Police found a deflated yoga ball in the back of the car.
Prosecutors accused Khaw, a specialist in anaesthesiology and an associate professor at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, of hatching a murder plot because he was having an affair with a student.
The court heard earlier in the trial that Khaw had told colleagues he planned to use the gas on rabbits. He later told police he had taken it to get rid of rats at home.
The professor also told police after his arrest that Lily knew about the dangerous gas in the yoga ball, and suggested she may have wanted to commit suicide.
Khaw’s case was the second murder investigation involving an academic in recent months.
In August a University of Hong Kong professor was arrested on suspicion of killing his wife after police found a body stuffed in a suitcase in his office.


NZ leader Ardern vows to deny accused gunman notoriety he seeks

Updated 51 sec ago
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NZ leader Ardern vows to deny accused gunman notoriety he seeks

  • ‘You will never hear me mention his name. He is a terrorist. He is a criminal.’

CHRISTCHURCH: New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern vowed Tuesday never to utter the name of the twin-mosque gunman as she opened a somber session of Parliament with an evocative “as salaam alaikum” message of peace to Muslims.

“He will face the full force of the law in New Zealand,” Ardern promised grieving Kiwis, while promising that she would deprive the man who slaughtered 50 people in Christchurch of the publicity he craved.

“He sought many things from his act of terror, but one was notoriety,” she told assembled lawmakers of the 28-year-old Australian accused of the slaughter.

“That is why you will never hear me mention his name. He is a terrorist. He is a criminal. He is an extremist. But he will, when I speak, be nameless.”

“I implore you: Speak the names of those who were lost rather than the name of the man who took them.”

Dressed in black, the 38-year-old leader opened her remarks in Parliament with the symbolism of the greeting uttered across the Islamic world.

“Wa alaikum salaam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh” she said — ‘May the peace, mercy, and blessings of Allah be with you too.’

She closed her address by noting that “on Friday, it will be a week since the attack, members of the Muslim community will gather for worship on that day. Let us acknowledge their grief as they do.”

Her comments came as dozens of relatives of the deceased began arriving from around the world ahead of expected funerals which have already been delayed far beyond the 24 hours after death usually observed under Islamic custom.

The slow process of identification and forensic documentation has so far made burials impossible, augmenting families’ grief.

Javed Dadabhai, who traveled from Auckland to help bury his cousin, said families and volunteers were told: “It is going to be a very slow process, a very thorough process.”

“Some families have been invited to have a look at their family members... the ones that are easiest to recognize, but we are talking about three or four.”

“The majority of people still have not had the opportunity to see their family members,” he told AFP.

In the wake of the mass shooting, Ardern has promised to reform New Zealand gun laws that allowed the gunman to legally purchase the weapons he used in the attack on two Christchurch mosques, including semi-automatic rifles.

New Zealanders have already begun answering government appeals to hand in their weapons, including John Hart, a farmer in the North Island district of Masterton.

Hart said it was an easy decision for him to hand in his semi-automatic and tweeted that “on the farm they are a useful tool in some circumstances, but my convenience doesn’t outweigh the risk of misuse. We don’t need these in our country.”

The tweet drew a barrage of derogatory messages to his Facebook account —  most apparently from the US, where the pro-gun lobby is powerful and vociferous.

Hart deleted the messages but posted online: “A warm kia ora to all my new American Facebook friends.”

“I’m not familiar with your local customs, but I assume ‘Cuck’ is a traditional greeting,” he said of the insult, short for “cuckold” frequently used by far-right pundits.

Police said they did not have data available on the number of weapons handed in since Friday.