SINGAPORE — A man and a woman accused of killing her four-year-old daughter and later burning the corpse in a metal barrel will be remanded for another week for investigations.
Another woman, also implicated in the disposal of Megan Khung Yu Wai’s corpse at Paya Ubi Industrial Park, will also be remanded for one more week to assist investigations, after her defence lawyer failed in his bid to quash the prosecution’s application for her to be further remanded.
Foo Li Ping, 24, and Wong Shi Xiang, 33, are accused of murdering Megan in common intention some time in February this year at the condominium Suites@Guillemard. They are also accused of disposing the child’s body in common intention with each other, and with Nouvelle Chua Ruoshi, by burning it in May this year in order to avoid detection. Chua, 30, is facing the latter charge.
Foo is the girl’s biological mother, while the relationships between the three accused were not revealed in court.
Apart from his two charges in relation to Megan, Wong faces other charges involving drugs, and possessing two samurai swords and voluntarily causing hurt to another man.
Foo is represented by lawyers Josephus Tan, Cory Wong and Marshall Lim, while Wong is presented by lawyer Vinit Chhabra. Chua is represented by lawyer Thangavelu, who only goes by one name.
All three accused were produced in court via video link on Thursday (6 August) for further mentions of their cases, during which Deputy Public Prosecutor (DPP) Marcus Foo applied to have them further remanded a week for investigations.
At the mention of Chua’s case, Thangavelu objected to a further remand and sought to have his client’s case separated from Foo and Wong.
Thangavelu stated that Chua had been in police custody since 24 July when she was arrested, and that her case was different from the couple, who were facing murder charges.
Chua’s charge was under 308B – for the disposal of a corpse – and was an offence that could be tried in the district court, argued the lawyer. Investigations into her case should be restricted to her role and not to the murders, the lawyer pointed out.
He argued against Chua being remanded further unless the prosecution could satisfy the reasons for it.
DPP Foo said that Thangavelu’s objections were “premature” as only two weeks have passed since the case was first mentioned in court. Chua’s charge explicitly states a common intention to dispose of Megan’s corpse, the DPP countered, adding that new material had surfaced over the last week so that more investigations were required to obtain a more complete picture of the incident.
Thangavelu argued that the prosecution’s reply was “not satisfactory” at all and added that Chua could still cooperate with investigations by attending appointments at the police station.
The other lawyers for Wong and Foo did not object to their clients being remanded.
District Judge Terence Tay allowed the prosecution’s application to remand all three for one more week, citing the severity of the charges faced by Wong and Foo.
However he noted that the more applications the prosecution made for the accused persons to be remanded, the higher the threshold it would have to satisfy to show the court why remand was required and bail could not be offered.
He assured Thangavelu that he would hold the prosecution to “more substantive arguments” if Chua were to be remanded further in the future.
All three will be remanded with permission for them to be taken out for investigations. They will next return to court on 13 August.
The charge of disposing a corpse in order to prevent detection carries a jail term of up to seven years. Murder may be punishable with death or life imprisonment with caning.
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