Monday, March 05, 2007

MORE PICS - CANNY ONG Killer AHMAD NAJIB to Hang for RAPE & MURDER; Abducted & Killed on 14 Jun 2003; Appeal Court Upheld Death Sentence

This gruesome rape and murder shocked many after it happened and new cases will take its place. The accused still has the recourse of the Federal Court after this Court of Appeal upheld the death sentence imposed on Feb 23 2005; failing which is the final appeal is for pardon from the Agong.

March 05, 2007 13:24 PM

It Is Still The Hangman's Noose For Canny's Killer
PUTRAJAYA, March 5 (Bernama) -- The Court of Appeal Monday upheld the death sentence on a former aircraft cabin cleaning supervisor for the rape and murder of IT analyst Canny Ong Lay Kian five years ago. Justices Datuk Abdul Aziz Mohamed (now a Federal court judge), Datuk Mohamed Ghazali Mohamed Yusof and Datuk Azmel Ma'amor (now a Federal Court judge) unanimously dismissed Ahmad Najib's appeal to set aside the convictions, death sentence and jail term for raping and killing Ong, 29, at the 7th mile, Jalan Klang Lama, between 1am and 5am on June 14, 2003.

At the court today, 5th March 2007, the smile was for everyone, even though his fate is sealed

Ahmad Najib, 31 (always smiling, ABOVE ) , who wore a black and white chequered shirt and black trousers, appeared calm when the court announced the verdict. Justice Abdul Aziz said circumstantial evidence showed that it was Ahmad Najib, and no one else, who raped and killed Ong. Ahamd Najib was found guilty and sentenced to death by the Shah Alam High Court on Feb 23, 2005 for Ong's murder.

ABOVE: Even in 2005 after the death sentence, he was smiling

He was also sentenced to 20 years jail and 10 strokes of the rotan for raping her. The trial was given wide publicity and horrified the nation with tales of abduction, rape, murder and the dumping of Ong's body into a manhole measuring 3x3x3 ft, before it was burnt

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Haniff opted for client to remain silent in dock;

IT was a decision that stunned lawyers.; 26 Nov 2006

Lawyer Muhammad Haniff Khatri Abdulla did what many least expected: he told Ahmad Najib Aris to remain silent in court when his defence was called. The airline cabin crew supervisor had been charged with the murder and rape of 28-year-old information technology analyst Canny Ong, which the media had front-paged for days.
Haniff said he had no regrets over the decision as he had considered all angles before arriving at it.

"In view of the law, facts and science of the case, I felt that was the best option available to him," said Haniff, 40. Haniff, who was assisted by five other counsel, said they discussed all the options available to Ahmad Najib. "All six of us were divided between him giving evidence or remaining silent. As lead counsel, I decided that Ahmad Najib should keep mum," he said. Haniff said he advised the accused on the option and gave him time to make a decision. "We had to agree with whatever he decided as he was facing capital punishment. He finally gave us the go-ahead."

Haniff said Ahmad Najib had placed a lot of trust and confidence in them and this inspired them to give him the best defence possible. The lawyer, in practice since 1992, said he was only asked to appear for the accused about three or four weeks before the trial. "I agreed because the trial touched on delicate points of law and forensic science," he said, adding that a legal team was set up due to time constraints.

It was decided that Haniff, as leader of the team, would be the advocate while the other members would carry out research. Haniff felt that Ahmad Najib had been tried by the media even before the case went to court. "It was too late to rectify the damage. " Had we been retained much earlier, steps could have been taken to prevent prejudice to my client."
On Feb 23 last year, trial judge Datuk Muhammad Ideres Rapee sentenced Ahmad Najib to death for the murder and a further 20 years jail for raping his victim. Ahmad Najib appealed against the sentence and conviction to the Court of Appeal which heard submissions from his counsel and the prosecution in January this year. The appellate court reserved judgment. Ahmad Najib was charged with raping and murdering Ong at Jalan Klang Lama between 1am and 5am on June 14, 2003.
She was abducted from the Bangsar Shopping Centre in the early hours of that day.
Three days later, her charred remains were found in a drain inside a manhole. Forty-four witnesses gave evidence during the trial, which began on Sept 15, 2003.

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The Canny Ong murder trial; The victim; Canny Ong Lay Kian, 29, an IT analyst

The charge: Ahmad Najib Aris is charged with the murder of Canny Ong at 7th Mile, Jalan Klang Lama, Petaling Jaya, between 1am and 5am on June 14, 2003. Second charge: Rape of Canny Ong at the same place and time.
The accused: Ahmad Najib Aris, 27, aircraft cabin cleaner

The judge: Justice Muhamad Ideres Muhamad Rapiee

Prosecution: DPP Salehuddin Saidin, DPP Noorin Badaruddin

Defence:# For Ahmad Najib, defence team of six lawyers led by Muhammad Haniff Khatri Abdullah. # Counsel Karpal Singh is holding a watching brief for Canny's family. # Counsel Godfrey D'Cruz is holding a watching brief for Bandaraya Properties.

= = = =Background & history of trial in 2005

Reports of the court proceedings as reported by The Star

Day 54: Ahmad Najib told to enter defence for raping and murdering Canny. Aircraft cabin cleaner Ahmad Najib Aris was ordered to defend himself on charges of raping and murdering IT analyst Canny Ong. High Court Justice Muhamad Ideres Rapiee ruled that the prosecution had established a prima facie case against the accused on both charges.

Day 53: Accused to know decision on Aug 6. Ahmad Najib Aris will know on Aug 6 whether to enter his defence over the rape and murder of Canny Ong.

Day 52: DPP: Accused wanted to conceal fact that he had raped Canny. Ahmad Najib Aris killed Canny Ong to hide the fact that he had raped her, a prosecutor told the High Court.

Day 51: ‘Death knell’ from DNA. DNA tests proved that “live sperm” found in Canny Ong’s private parts was Ahmad Najib Aris’ and that was a death knell to the cleaner’s defence in the rape-cum-murder trial, a prosecutor told the High Court.

Day 50: No case to call for defence. Cleaner Ahmad Najib Aris should not be ordered to make his defence purely to satisfy curiosity, his lawyer argued in the High Court.

Day 49: Defence lists flaws in case. There are 10 reasons why aircraft cleaner Ahmad Najib Aris should be freed from the charges of raping and murdering Canny Ong without his defence being called, said lead counsel Haniff Khatri Abdulla.

Day 48: Prosecution closes its case. The prosecution has offered 75 people, including Canny Ong’s husband and friends, as defence witnesses after closing its case in the murder trial.

Day 47: Cop: Accused wanted revenge. The man who confessed to having mistakenly abducted Canny Ong before raping and killing her had told police that his actual target was his former employer, the High Court heard.

Day 46: Cop quizzed about benefactor. The mysterious lawyer who funded Canny Ong’s studies in the United States resurfaced as the thrust of the defence’s line of questioning at the High Court, with the prosecution being grilled for three hours on the matter.

Day 45: Accused took police to eight places. The accused in the Canny Ong murder trial led police to eight places from which various pieces of evidence had been collected, the High Court heard yesterday.

Day 44: Canny's body buried under tyres, court told. Police found Canny Ong’s badly burnt remains buried under two cement-filled tyres in a covered manhole four days after she was abducted from a basement car park in Bangsar, the investigating officer told the High Court.

Day 43: Phone ‘key to solving case’. Canny Ong’s handphone that went missing with her last June played a vital role in helping police solve the case, the High Court heard.

Day 42: Canny spoke on handphone ‘No one knows who made the call’.Murder victim Canny Ong spoke to someone on her handphone during a farewell dinner on the night she was abducted from the basement of a shopping centre here, the High Court heard.

Day 41: Accused confesses to raping and stabbing Canny. The man now on trial in the High Court for the rape and grisly murder of Canny Ong confessed that he killed her by stabbing her twice in the stomach and leaving her to bleed to death in a manhole.

The confession in full: Translation of Ahmad Najib Aris' confession as taken down by the then magistrate Muhamad Rushdan Mohamad.

Lawyer paid for studies, says Canny's father. Canny Ong’s father told the High Court that a philanthropist had sponsored his daughter’s four-year business studies in the United States.

Day 40: Court to decide in May on accused’s confession. The High Court will decide on May 10 if it should admit as evidence the confession of the man accused of raping and murdering Canny Ong last year.

Day 39: Trial-within-a-trial closing submissions today. Parties in the Canny Ong murder case will make closing submissions today at the end of a trial-within-a-trial to determine the admissibility of a confession made by the accused.

Day 38: Accused: I met cop before. A murder accused told the High Court that he had met a policeman, who had collected the identity cards belonging to him and Canny Ong on the night the US-based IT analyst went missing, even before his arrest.

Day 37: Accused: No bruises on me.The man accused of raping and murdering Canny Ong told the High Court that several police personnel had assaulted him during detention before taking his photographs..

Day 36: I knew Canny, says accused. The man accused of raping and murdering Canny Ong acknowledged that he knew the victim when a senior officer asked him on the day of his arrest, the High Court heard.

Day 35: Accused: I was assaulted by cops hours after arrest. The man charged with the rape and murder of Canny Ong claimed that he was assaulted by several police personnel, including a police superintendent, within hours of his arrest last year.

Day 34: Decision on confession today. The High Court will decide today whether the prosecution in the Canny Ong trial had proven beyond a reasonable doubt that rape-cum-murder accused Ahmad Najib Aris' confession was voluntarily given.

Day 33: Trial adjourned pending submissions. The High Court has adjourned the Canny Ong murder trial to Wednesday, pending preparation of written submissions by the parties involved.

Day 32: Submissions over accused’s confession set for Monday. Parties in the Canny Ong murder trial will argue on Monday as to whether there is prima facie evidence to show that the accused Ahmad Najib Aris voluntarily confessed to a magistrate a day after his arrest last year.

Day 31: Cop: No promise of lenient sentence. The accused in Canny Ong's murder trial asked to meet Selangor CID chief Senior Asst Comm II Abu Bakar Mustaffa immediately after his arrest in June last year, the High Court in Shah Alam heard.

Day 30: Accused ‘not persuaded to confess’. A prosecution witness denied that two policemen persuaded the accused Ahmad Najib Aris to confess or risk being treated like a dog, the High Court heard in Shah Alam Friday.

Day 29: Accused ‘not confused when he confessed’. Ahmad Najib Aris, who is charged with the rape and murder of Canny Ong, did not appear to be confused when he made a confession concerning his alleged crime to a magistrate last year, the High Court heard yesterday.

Day 28: Confession made voluntarily, court told. The confession of an aircraft cabin cleaner supervisor who is charged with the rape and murder of Canny Ong was made voluntarily, the High Court heard Wednesday.

Day 27: I found maggots in Canny’s car, says cop. A forensic expert told the High Court that he found maggots on the floor under the backseat of the car driven by Canny Ong when he was inspecting the vehicle last year.

Day 26: Police found bloodstains near manhole, court told. Police found bloodstains and strands of hair near a manhole where Canny Ong’s burnt body was retrieved in Jalan Klang Lama, the High Court heard yesterday.

Day 25: Cop: Body found in manhole. Canny Ong’s burnt body was retrieved from a manhole at Batu 7, Jalan Kelang Lama, last year, the High Court heard in Shah Alam Thursday. Selangor police forensic unit head Deputy Supt Amidon Anan said when he and his men arrived, they saw the knees and lower legs sticking out of the manhole.

Day 24: Cop: Bloodstained jeans among 11 items seized. A pair of jeans, which had Canny Ong's bloodstains, was among 11 items seized from the house of accused Ahmad Najib Aris, the High Court heard yesterday.

Day 23: Canny's death not the result of a sexual act. A pathologist told the High Court that Canny Ong’s possible cause of death by strangulation was not the result of a sexual act.

Day 22: Digestive tract ‘can show time of death’ .A pathologist told the High Court that the only way to indicate when Canny Ong had died was by studying her digestive system because her body was badly burnt.

Day 21: Canny ‘most probably’ strangled. Canny Ong was already dead when her body was set on fire in June, a pathologist told the High Court.

Day 20: Pathologist describes body parts. A pathologist told the High Court that he had in June examined a burnt human body trunk and a pair of severed legs believed to belong to Canny Ong.

Day 19: Canny Ong trial postponed to today. The hearing of the Canny Ong rape-cum-murder trial was postponed yesterday because Justice Muhamad Ideres Rapiee, who is presiding over the case, was on medical leave.

Day 18: Court told about DNA profiling by witness.

Any specimen sent for DNA profiling will not produce results if it is still contaminated after a purification process, a chemist told the High Court in Shah Alam.

Day 17: Defence attacks methods used by chemist.Lawyers for accused Ahmad Najib Aris launched their attack on the technical evidence given by a chemist, including DNA tests which could prove damaging for the defence.

Day 16: Blood found is Canny’s, says chemist. Blood found on a pair of jeans and a concrete block from a road divider was positively tested as that of Canny Ong’s, the High Court heard.

Day 15: Semen matched DNA of accused, High Court told. The Canny Ong trial: Semen collected from the remains of Canny Ong matched the DNA profile of Ahmad Najib Aris, the man accused of raping and murdering her, a chemist told the High Court.

Day 14: Five hours to display and explain exhibits to judge. Eighteen exhibits ranging from blood and semen-stained material, burnt hair and samples of vaginal fluid were tendered in the High Court when the Canny Ong trial resumed Monday.

Day 13: Queries over muslin cloth. The Canny Ong murder trial yesterday was dominated by questions over muslin cloth.

Day 12:‘Accused did not turn up for night duty’. Ahmad Najib Aris did not turn up for his night shift duty on June 13, 2003, the night Canny Ong “disappeared” from the Bangsar Shopping Complex, the High Court heard Tuesday.

Day 11: Videotapes footage authentic, says expert. A forensic expert told the High Court that the videotapes, with a footage taken by closed-circuit TV cameras at an underground car park showing images of the man accused of raping and murdering Canny Ong, was authentic and unedited.

Murder accused hit by vomiting and diarrhoea

Accused Ahmad Najib Aris sat alone in the dock as usual Monday but he was not his normal self.

Day 10: Identifying through gait. A forensic expert told the High Court that his observation of Canny Ong’s mother, her appearance, gait and the way she held her handbag helped him to identify her in an unclear photograph.

Chance to play forensic detective. The High Court judge, prosecutors and lawyers in the Canny Ong rape-cum-murder case had their chance to play forensic detectives Friday with a device used to magnify unclear images in photographs.

Day 9: Cop: Recorded images are that of accused. A police forensic expert told the High Court he had enhanced and enlarged images of a man captured on closed-circuit TV cameras at the Bangsar Shopping Centre on the night Canny Ong went missing before confirming that he was the person now accused of murdering her.

Video shots show accused loitering near Canny’s car.

Shots taken by cameras at the Bangsar Shopping Centre’s underground car park showed that the accused in the Canny Ong murder trial had entered the centre as early as 8.49pm on the night she went missing.

Day 8: Parties view tapes at mall. Two videotapes of recordings taken by cameras in the Bangsar Shopping Centre underground parking areas showed images which forensic experts have identified as those of Canny Ong and the man accused of raping and murdering her, the High Court heard.

Day 7: SIM card sold for RM10. A man who bought a SIM card from a stranger told the High Court he found out it had come from a murder victim's handphone, when the police detained him for investigations.

Judge plays language teacher during court case. Justice Muhamad Ideres Rapiee played the role of a language teacher by correcting some of the terms used by a lawyer and a witness who testified before him yesterday.

Day 6: Witness identifies Tiara belonging to victim Canny Ong. A motorist, who stopped to ease himself at a construction site along Old Klang Road, near where the gruesome remains of rape-cum-murder victim Canny Ong were found, told the High Court that a man was frantically trying to drive away in Canny’s car after he spotted a semi-naked woman lying on the back seat.

Witness: I took backpack and handphone from car. A prosecution witness, who saw the semi-nude body of Canny Ong in a Proton Tiara, said he saw the car 100m away from where he first spotted it when he passed the scene again two hours later. Day Five

Day 5: 'Car was parked at a blind spot'. Canny Ong’s car was parked at a “blind spot” which none of the 16 cameras at the three-storey car park at the Bangsar Shopping Complex recorded.

Lim: Canny last seen at ticket machine

Closed-circuit camera pictures taken by the Bangsar Shopping Centre showed that Canny Ong was last captured on video at 10.44pm while leaving an autopay machine and heading towards the lifts to the car park.

Court views tapes: Trial judge Justice Muhamad Ideres Rapiee left his bench and sat with prosecutors and defence lawyers to view the tapes.

Day 4: Cop: Accused reported lost IC on June 14. The accused in the Canny Ong murder trial lodged a police report one day after she went missing that he had lost his identity card the previous night, the High Court heard Thursday.

Car found a day later’: Police found the dark blue Proton Tiara that went missing with Canny Ong on June 13 abandoned behind a shophouse off Old Klang Road, one day after her disappearance.

Convoy visits crime scenes: A convoy of over 20 vehicles visited four crime scenes linked to the Canny Ong murder case Thursday.

Day 3: Canny tried to use facial signals, says witness

Canny Ong tried to use facial expressions to signal to a good Samaritan to rescue her while the man accused of her murder sought help to fix a punctured tyre in the wee hours of June 14, the High Court heard Wednesday.

Witness: We found a burnt corpse at construction site. A civil engineer testified that his men discovered a badly burnt corpse in a culvert pipe at a construction site under his charge in Old Klang Road, Kuala Lumpur.

Mother of accused scolds photographers: The mother of Ahmad Najib Aris, the man accused of raping and murdering Canny Ong, berated photographers who tried to snap pictures of her at the Shah Alam High Court complex where her son is being tried.

Day 2: Cop: Canny gestured as though begging for help. A policeman told the High Court that Canny Ong Lay Kian had gestured twice to him as though begging for help when he stopped to check her identity and that of the accused while patrolling in Petaling Jaya on June 13.

Venue chosen as mum liked steak. Canny Ong loved to eat crabs. She was crazy about them. According to her mother, she was supposed to have gone to the Fatty Crabs outlet in Taman Megah for dinner with her family and friends on Friday, June 13.

Day 1: Mum relates Canny’s last words. The rape and murder trial of Canny Ong Lay Kian began in a sombre mood in the High Court here yesterday, with her mother recounting her daughter’s last words on the night of June 13 before she was found dead.

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The pain is unbearable'; CANNY ONG'S MURDER; NST

Canny Ong's mother says she still aches for her slain daughter, and worries about Canny's husband. SHE did not miss a single day of the trial - all 52 days of them. But the pain is evident even after almost two years. Mrs Pearley Visvanathan, 58, said that even though the death sentence had been imposed on Ahmad Najib Aris, it would not bring her daughter, Ms Canny Ong, back.

In truth I'm angry with God. I feel He has not been fair to me. I don't know what I have done,' she told the media yesterday after aircraft cabin cleaning supervisor Ahmad Najib was sentenced to death by the Malaysian High Court. Ahmad Najib was found guilty of raping and brutally murdering Ms Ong, 28, between 1am and 5am on Jun 14, 2003. Mrs Visvanathan did not hear the verdict clearly initially and had to ask several people to repeat it before breaking into a weary smile, reported the New Straits Times. When asked about her feelings, she said: 'I sympathise with her (Ahmad Najib's mother).

This is funny and strange. It is part of the plot of fate, like a trap for her (Ms Ong) to come back.' She was referring to how her daughter had ended up at Bangsar Shopping Centre on that tragic night. Ms Ong, an information technologist, had flown back from the US to visit her ailing father in KL, was having a night out with friends at the Bangsar Shopping Complex on Jun 13, 2003. They had changed the dinner venue three times. She was due to fly back to the US to join her husband the following day. As her mother was not well, she decided to leave early and went to pick up the parking ticket that she had left in her car in the basement. That was when she was abducted by Ahmad Najib, who bundled her into the passenger seat and sped away.

Her family never saw her alive again.

Others did see her, including two policemen, but it is still a mystery why she did not try to escape when the opportunity arose. According to court testimony, Ahmed Najib drove Ms Ong to a deserted place, raped and stabbed her. He then strangled her and dumped her body in a manhole, returning later to set fire to her body.

After the verdict, Mrs Visvanathan told the New Straits Times that she would be calling her other daughters, who are in Europe, immediately. She said her husband did not wish to talk. 'He is taking it badly. We have lost three children,' she said referring to the toddler daughter they lost in drowning incident years ago and a baby son, who died following a fever. On Tuesday, she told the Malay Mail that she still wakes up at night with the feeling that 'God has been unfair to me and my family to have snatched Canny away from us'. Said the former teacher and remisier: 'Sometimes the pain is so unbearable that I want to scream. I miss my darling daughter so much. '

At times, I feel like swallowing her ashes with water so that she will still be with me. I feel like I'm going out of my head, thinking about her.' Yesterday, she told the media that she hoped Ms Ong's husband, Mr Brendan Ong, would remarry and start a new life. 'I hope her husband will get married again. I think he will find it hard because he is still holding on to Canny. 'Everyone has to move on. Sometimes I don't dare think of her.

I prefer it that way. I pretend, in a way. I have her photo with me. I keep thinking she is beside me.' Mr Ong has since sold his wife's BMW and the house they owned in San Diego, and moved back in with his parents in Hawaii, reported the Malay Mail. The 29-year-old former product manager of a software company was involved in two car collisions after his wife's death. His driver's licence in the US was suspended. For Ms Ong's mother, the agony goes on. She said: 'sooner or later, the case will be forgotten, but for us, there will be no end. The hurt will go on.' - The Electric New Paper

= = = = = =for the Keynote Speech for Canny Ong's Memorial by Datin Paduka Marina Mahathir; 19 July 2003 at HELP Institute; Go H E R E


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