HONG KONG: An anaesthetist gassed his wife and daughter to death using a yoga ball filled with carbon monoxide, a Hong Kong court has heard.
Prosecutors told the High Court that Khaw Kim-sun left the inflatable ball in the boot of a car where the gas leaked out and killed them, according to reports from court Wednesday.
His wife and 16-year-old daughter were found on a roadside in a locked yellow Mini Cooper in 2015, in a case which initially baffled police.
The pair were certified dead at the same hospital where Khaw worked and a post-mortem concluded they had died from inhaling carbon monoxide.
Police found a deflated yoga ball in the back of the car.
Khaw cried Thursday as the pathologist who examined the bodies was called to testify and began to give details about the autopsy he carried out on his daughter, according to an AFP reporter in court.
Khaw has pleaded not guilty to two counts of murder.
Prosecutors had said Wednesday that Khaw, a 53-year-old Malaysian national, was having an affair with a student and his wife would not grant him a divorce.
They accused him of hatching a deliberate plot to murder his wife, the South China Morning Post reported.
Prosecutors said it was likely that Khaw had not intended to kill his daughter.
The court heard that in a police interview, Khaw had said he had urged his younger daughter to stay at home and finish her homework on the day of the deaths, according to Apple Daily.
Khaw had been seen filling two balls with carbon monoxide at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, where he was an associate professor, reports said.
He told colleagues he planned to use the gas on rabbits but later told police that he had taken it to get rid of rats at home.
The family’s domestic helper Siti Maesaroh told the court Thursday that the couple’s three other children had gone to school on the day of the deaths, but Lily was having a holiday.
She said the children had a good relationship with their parents.
Siti added that Khaw and his wife had separate bedrooms and cooked their meals separately, but said she did not know anything about their relationship.
The couple’s eldest daughter is due to testify Friday.