Murder accused’s tale of love and infidelity

SINGAPORE: Learning that she was a married woman whom he also suspected of seeing other men while they were dating did not snuff out his feelings for her.

And even after Madam Zhang Meng’s family beat him up and threatened to kill him after discovering their illicit affair, Wang Zhijian, a Chinese national, stuck with her.

Wang’s account of how his relationship with Mdm Zhang blossomed in China was heard on the third day of his trial for the murder of Mdm Zhang, 42, her daughter Feng Jianyu, 17, and their room—mate Madam Yang Jie, 36, on the night of Sept 18, 2008 at their Yishun flat. Wang is also accused of repeatedly slashing Mdm Yang’s daughter, Li Meilin, now 18. She survived.

Wang, 45, told investigators he met Mdm Zhang sometime in 1996 but that it was only eight years later that she called him out of the blue for a chat.

In May or June 2005, she called him again and asked him out to a coffee house for a chat. This was when he revealed that he was recently divorced.

Wang and Mdm Zhang would rendezvous from then on about once a week to go to coffee houses or parks, usually on Thursdays when her husband, Mr Feng Jinqiang, worked the night shift as a policeman.

Their relationship remained platonic until Mdm Zhang asked him in March 2006 if he had fallen for her. Wang admitted that he indeed had feelings for her, and they became intimate a week later.

Three months later, when Mdm Zhang finally disclosed her marriage to him, Wang said it "saddened" him. He tried to break up with her but she refused.

Wang recounted that during one of their dates later, two men telephoned Mdm Zhang and asked her out. The incident caused him to suspect that "she had some other men", Wang said. He again asked to end the relationship but Mdm Zhang pleaded with him, saying that she did not want to live if he were to leave her.

As a pledge of her love for Wang, Mdm Zhang used her blood to write on a piece of paper: "I love Wang Zhijian. I want to marry him."

In return, Wang also wrote with his blood: "I (will) love her until I (die)."

When their extra—marital affair came to light in November that year, Wang said Mdm Zhang chose to leave her husband.

Two days later, Mdm Zhang’s younger brother, her younger sister and her husband confronted Wang, beating him up and threatening to kill him but he managed to flee from them eventually.

In April 2007, Wang was allowed to "retire" from his job as a storekeeper in a port on medical grounds, which entitled him to a monthly pension of 2,200 yuan (S$450) until he turned 60. Wang said he chose instead to take a 310,000 yuan loan from his company and let it deduct his monthly payments as repayment. Wang said he used the money to buy branded clothes for Mdm Zhang and took her for meals at "high—class restaurants and hotels", spending 100,000 yuan after only over three months.

In May 2007, Wang tattooed a portrait of Mdm Zhang and a rose on his back as a symbol of his love. Later that month, however, Mdm Zhang’s ex—husband suffered a stroke. Wang claimed that he helped Mdm Zhang bring Mr Feng for treatment for more than 10 days. Mdm Zhang broke up with him twice after that, Wang said, but they always reconciled.

In December that year, Jianyu was accepted into an English language school in Singapore and Wang kept in contact with Mdm Zhang over the phone.

By then, he started thinking that she was trying to cheat his feelings. The court heard on Wednesday that Wang allegedly went on a rampage after he quarrelled with Mdm Zhang over her demands for a meal of crab. He had arrived in Singapore from Tianjin nine days before the day of the attacks.The trial resumes next Friday. If found guilty, Wang faces the death penalty.

TODAY