Saturday, November 11, 2006

Triad's killing 'TV-style', court told

UPDATED 1.45pm Wednesday November 8, 2006By David Eames
A reputed triad gang enforcer was killed in a TV-style murder, the High Court in Auckland heard today.
Wan Yee Chow, 54, faces a charge of murder following the July 2005 killing of Tam Yam Ah, 37, outside the Top Karaoke bar on Symonds Street in central Auckland.
Wan is alleged to have travelled from Wellington on July 6 last year then, after visiting a number of places frequented by Tam, waited for him outside the karaoke bar.
Tam lived above the business. Wan is accused of gunning down the victim as he climbed from his silver BMW car in the early hours of July 7.
Crown prosecutor Kieran Raftery described the killing as "a textbook television-type murder", in his opening address to the jury.
"It was a simple cold-blooded act of killing."
Tam - already out of the car - is understood to have seen Wan approaching him, and hurriedly locked his car to protect a woman who was still inside.
"As he got out of the car he obviously saw the man who was there to kill him," Mr Raftery told the court.
"Within seconds he was shot, within minutes he died."
The woman managed to escape after smashing her way out of the BMW window, and is due to give evidence at trial,
However, her description of Tam's killer would likely be sketchy, Mr Raftery said.
"All that she can tell you?is something about his physical appearance, because his face was covered in a balaclava."
Mr Raftery's lengthy opening address included a number of details regarding issues peripheral to the killing, but defence counsel Peter Kaye urged jurors not to be distracted by other issues.
In his opening remarks, Mr Kaye said the "crucial issue" in the trial was whether Chow murdered Mr Tam.
"Make no mistake about this... It's just about the be all and end all of this case.
"It's that important."
About 40 witnesses will be heard from during the trial, which is presided over by Justice Patricia Courtney.
It is set down for about two weeks.

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