Court Urged to Expedite Case as Victim's Terminal Cancer Diagnosis Raises Concerns
A Point Cook couple has appeared in court following allegations that they held a woman as a slave in their suburban residence. The court has been requested to expedite the case against the couple due to the alleged victim’s terminal cancer diagnosis.
Chee Kit Chong, 44, and Angie Yeh Liaw, 29, both residents of Melbourne, have been charged with three modern slavery offenses, including possessing a slave, using threats and coercion to maintain the person’s servitude, and exerting control over a slave.
The couple attended a committal hearing at the Melbourne Magistrates Court, where they successfully obtained a three-week adjournment for their case. The alleged offenses took place at their home in Point Cook, a suburb in the southwestern part of the city, between January and October of the previous year.
Chee Kit Chong performed a small dance and flashed two peace signs to the reporters stationed outside Melbourne Magistrates’ Court today, as his slavery case encountered another delay due to his acquisition of a new lawyer.
Angie Yeh Ling Liaw also attended the court proceedings but opted not to accompany her husband as they exited the William St building.
The Australian Federal Police initiated an investigation into Mr. Chong and Ms. Liaw in October of the same year based on information provided by a healthcare partner who expressed concerns about a woman exhibiting signs of human trafficking.
Prosecutor Michael Keks argued that due to the complainant’s illness and the overall slow progress in the case, the accused should proceed directly to trial in the County Court.
Keks also highlighted that both defendants had sought the services of multiple law firms since the charges were filed, raising doubts about the financial arrangements of the alleged culprits.
The court learned that Mr. Chong had already attended four committal hearings related to this matter, dating back to March.
“Mr. Chong has had more than sufficient time,” commented Magistrate Belinda Franjic.