SINGAPORE — The man who was accused of killing Felicia Teo Wei Ling, a 19-year-old student who went missing in 2007, was on Monday (27 June) given a discharge not amounting to an acquittal for his murder charge.
Ahmad Danial Mohamed Rafa'ee, 37, had been accused of committing the offence with another man, Indonesian Ragil Putra Setia Sukmarahjana, in a flat at Block 19 Marine Terrace on 30 June 2007.
While he is granted a discharge, he can still be prosecuted for the crime if relevant information or evidence are to emerge later.
The prosecution had called for such a discharge for Ahmad as Ragil is still at large. On the other hand, defence lawyer Shashi Nathan urged the court to grant a discharge amounting to an acquittal, meaning that Ahmad cannot be charged again with the same offence. He added that the prosecution's proposal would mean his client would have a murder charge hanging over him indefinitely.
In accepting the prosecution's proposal, District Judge Eugene Teo noted Nathan's concern, adding that there may be a review at some point in the future on the case.
Last to see Teo alive in 2007
According to Ahmad’s charge, the murder allegedly took place between 1.39am and 7.20am on 30 June 2007 – the day of Teo’s disappearance – at a flat in Block 19 Marine Terrace. Past media reports said she visited the flat following a party at the LaSalle College of the Arts campus.
Ahmad and Ragil - both of whom had studied at Lasalle College of the Arts with Teo - were believed to have been the last to see her alive when she went to the flat that night.
While CCTV footage captured Teo entering a lift at the block with two men to go up, it did not catch her leaving the 10th floor flat. Searches conducted by family and friends also turned up fruitless.
No details were given yet on how the crime was carried out. The two men are also believed to have disposed of Teo’s body, which the police are still searching for.
Her disappearance made headlines when her family and friends appealed for help, refusing to believe she had run away. The police said previously they had classified the case as a missing persons case in 2007, as they had found no facts to link the two men to Teo's disappearance.
After years of review, the case was referred to the Criminal Investigation Department in 2020. A breakthrough came after belongings believed to have been with Teo when she was reported missing were found.
Ahmad was arrested and he was charged with murder on 17 December 2020. Offenders convicted of murder face the death sentence.
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