PUTRAJAYA, 27 March 2009: Ahmad Najib Aris, who was convicted of the rape and murder of IT analyst Canny Ong Lay Kian six years ago, today lost his final appeal to quash his conviction.
The former aircraft cleaning supervisor will have to head to the gallows after all.
This follows a decision by the Federal Court to uphold the death sentence on the man for committing the crimes on Ong whose charred remains were found in a utility hole near a highway construction site in 2003.
In rejecting Ahmad Najib’s final appeal to quash his conviction and death sentence, Federal Court Judge Datuk Zulkefli Ahmad Makinuddin who read the judgment, said the court was satisfied there was circumstantial evidence and the evidence in its entirety, to come to the conclusion it was Ahmad Najib and no one else who was responsible for what happened to Ong that night.
In his 47-page judgment, he said the prosecution’s evidence from the relevant prosecution witnesses also showed that Ahmad Najib was seen with Ong at various places that night.
In a unanimous decision, Zulkefli said the Court of Appeal had made a correct finding in relying on the contents of the chemist’s report that the circumstantial evidence, including the discovery of Ong’s bloodstains on the trousers found in Ahmad Najib’s house, pointed to the fact that no one else, except Ahmad Najib, responsible for what happened to the victim.
The appeal was heard before a five-person bench comprising Chief Judge of Malaya Datuk Arifin Zakaria, Federal Court Justices, Datuk Nik Hashim Nik Ab Rahman, Datuk S. Augustine Paul, Datuk Hashim Yusoff and Zulkefli.
Ahmad Najib, wearing a black and white short-sleeved shirt and black trousers, was composed when the verdict was announced.
After the proceedings, Ahmad Najib who was accompanied by his mother, Rapipah Ahmad, and youngest sister Suhana, was asked to comment on the court’s decision.
He said: “I had expected this decision.”
Ahmad Najib, 33, had appealed against the Court of Appeal’s dismissal of his appeal to set aside his conviction, death sentence and 20-year jail term meted out by the Shah Alam High Court on 23 Feb 2005, for the rape and murder of the 28-year-old Ong.
He was found guilty of committing the offences at 7th Mile, Jalan Klang Lama, between 1am and 5am on 14 June 2003.
The 46-day trial at the High Court began on 15 Sept 2003 and ended on 20 May 2004, when the prosecution closed its case. The judge ordered Ahmad Najib to make his defence.
However, Ahmad Najib stunned everyone when he chose to remain silent.
According to law, when an accused chose to remain silent, the court had no alternative but to convict the accused.
The trial, which was given wide publicity, stunned the nation with its tales of abduction, rape, murder and the dumping of the body into a utility hole before it was torched.
Zulkefli, in his judgement, then affirmed the conviction and death sentence by the High Court which was also affirmed by the Court of Appeal.
He said the Court of Appeal was right when accepting the High Court’s decision that Ahmad Najib was seen at the various scenes or locations and was found to have been with Ong that night.
“From the evidence explained at the High Court, it is clear that PW4 (prosecution witness) had positively identified the appellant (Ahmad Najib) as the person who was with the deceased on the night of 13 June 2003,” he said.
Zulkefli said a DNA test confirmed Ahmad Najib’s semen in Ong’s vagina which proved that he had intercourse with the victim.
“The contents of the chemist’s report have the direct effect of linking the appellant (Ahmad Najib) to the commission of the rape and murder of the deceased (Ong),” he said. — Bernama