SINGAPORE — A businessman who was accused of orchestrating a brutal attack on his mistress' boyfriend was granted a discharge not amounting to an acquittal (DNATA) on Wednesday (14 July), more than two years after he was sentenced.
Lim Hong Liang, 56, was previously handed a six-year jail term for allegedly organising an attack that left the victim, Joshua Koh Kian Yong, with permanent facial scarring.
Lim's case was heard in a pre-trial conference that was not open to the media.
A DNATA means that Lim will not be prosecuted for the same offence for the time being. However, he can still be prosecuted if new evidence becomes available.
The move brings an end to a case which has seen numerous twists and turns since it went to trial in 2018.
In May 2018, Lim's ex-lover Audrey Chen Ying Fang, then 26, testified that she was in her condominium apartment with Koh, her boyfriend, on 8 April 2016, when two men showed up at the entrance of her bedroom.
One of the men told Koh, “I was sent here to kill you.”
The man then began assaulting Koh, fracturing his nose and bruising his eyes, while the other man sat on Chen’s couch and played with her dog.
Lim, a logistics firm director, had allegedly asked his nephew – one of the two men – to arrange for the attack on Koh, as Chen was also Lim's mistress at the time. He had lavished on her a condominium and branded goods.
Lim was found guilty on one count of engaging in a conspiracy along with five others to voluntarily cause grievous hurt to Koh. After a second attack, also in April 2016, Koh sustained fractures in his nose, lacerations over his lips, arm and bruises on his face.
Lim was sentenced to six years' jail in May 2019.
The failure to disclose the statement made by Lim's nephew was in breach of rules, said Senior Counsel Sreenivasan Narayanan in further arguments that spanned months.
The appeal saw Justice Aedit Abdullah ordering Lim's case to be sent back to the State Courts for a retrial. The judge reiterated that if there was any doubt about the potential relevance or impact of material to a case, it should be disclosed.
Before a retrial could be heard, however, Lim was granted the DNATA on Wednesday at a hearing where he was represented by lawyers Choo Si Sen and Patrick Nai.
In response to queries from Yahoo News Singapore, the Attorney-General's Chambers (AGC) said that in preparing for the retrial, the prosecution reviewed the evidence and decided to discontinue the criminal proceedings against Lim, and to administer a conditional warning to him instead.
"These conditions include Lim not re-offending within a 36-month period, as well as compensating the victim for his medical costs and the pain and suffering for his injuries...Should Lim breach any of the conditions to the warning, the charge against him may be revived," the AGC added.
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