A university professor accused of murdering his wife and daughter with a carbon monoxide-filled yoga ball told police that the woman he is having an affair with played no role in the deaths and asked that she be left out of it.
Prosecutors allege that 53-year-old Khaw Kim-sun was seeking to split from his wife and placed the poisoned yoga ball in her car in 2015 after she refused to grant him a divorce.
His 47-year-old wife Wong Siew-fung and their 16-year-old daughter Lily were found dead in Wong’s Mini Cooper, which was parked on a roadside in May 2015. Police found a deflated yoga ball in the car, which Khaw said he was using to kill rats in his home.
In tapes of police interviews from 2016 played before the High Court yesterday, Khaw said he had known his girlfriend Shara Lee for six to seven years, but had only been with her for about two to three, according to Apple Daily.
He expressed concern when he found out that police had detained her for questioning and told officers that she had nothing to do with the incident.
Lee — now an assistant professor at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University — was one of Khaw’s students at the Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK), and was also his children’s Chinese-language tutor.
According to Ming Pao, Khaw told police that he and Lee didn’t want to get married, adding that they both felt they were suitable for each other, that marriage was just a piece of paper, and they traveled and acted like a couple anyway.
In the tapes, Khaw can be heard telling officers that his relationship with his wife started deteriorating 10 years ago.
Khaw claimed this was because he had ambitions for their children, while his wife was a little bit more relaxed and didn’t have very high expectations, Apple Daily reports.
As a result, Khaw said he started feeling more lonely, and began seeing Lee. Khaw’s wife knew about the affair but he refused to acknowledge it, the court heard.
Khaw also told officers that Wong started becoming more “temperamental” after joining an organisation to boost her confidence. He added that that organisation turned out to be a “cult”, and it affected the “family harmony.”
He told police that he filled two yoga balls with carbon monoxide at CUHK and took them home to make sure he had enough gas to kill the rats at his home.
He added that did not tell his family about the potential danger because he thought the ball was strong enough to contain the gas, and there was a detector on it to monitor any leakage.
Khaw also told officers that only Lily knew about the carbon monoxide-filled yoga ball and alleged she may have used the yoga ball to commit suicide, telling the court she had become “impulsive” in the lead-up to the tragedy — citing on incident where she called the police several times in one year because of a dog barking.
The trial continues today.