MIRI – Sarawak businessman Datuk Stephen Lee Chee Kiang, who was charged with abetting the mafia-style murder of land activist Bill Kayong last year, has been discharged and acquitted by the Miri High Court.
Lee, 46, was discharged and acquitted without his defence being called.
Two other accused, Lie Chang Loon, 38 and Chin Wui Chung, 51, were similarly discharged and acquitted.
However, the main suspect, Mohamad Fitri Pauz, 30, was ordered to enter his defence and his trial will continue on June 14.
High Court Judge P. Ravinthran ruled that the prosecution had failed to furnish evidence linking the trio to the murder.
He told prosecution officer Deputy Public Prosecutor Mohd Fuad Abdul Aziz that the court had no choice but to discharge and acquit the three men.
“The prosecution had failed to establish any evidence linking the trio to the murder.
“I have to discharge and acquit the three without calling for their defence.
“However, for the first accused Mohd Fitri, I find credible evidence to call him to enter his defence on the murder charge,” he said.
Kayong was shot dead on June 21 last year at a traffic light in the Kuala Baram district.
Mohd Fitri was charged under Section 302 of the Penal Code, which carries the mandatory death penalty.
Kayong, who was also the Miri PKR secretary, was actively involved in fighting for native land rights in the state.
After the judgement, Dayak rights activists and Kayong’s family and friends were seen protesting angrily outside the court building.