Singapore: An Indian-origin Singaporean, convicted twice of murdering his two flatmates in Sydney, has been acquitted by an Australian appeals court.
Australia`s New South Wales (NSW) Court of Criminal Appeal quashed former student Ram Puneet Tiwary`s convictions for the September 2003 murders of Tay Chow Lyang and Tan Poh Chuan, both aged 26, according The Straits Times.
Tiwary, 33, was charged with the double murder of fellow Singaporeans of Chinese origin in September 2003 and was jailed for life in 2006.
But he appealed and was put on re-trial which again resulted in a maximum sentence of 48 years in jail.
Tiwary was originally charged for stabbing and bludgeoning Lyang and Chuan at a flat in a Sydney suburb of Kingsford. The three were students at the University of New South Wales and shared the flat.
In a dramatic turn this week, the appeal court on Thursday overturned both murder convictions and acquitted Tiwary on both counts.
The grounds of judgment would be made known later, according to the Singapore daily.
The decision has surprised even Tiwary`s family in Singapore who had not expected an outcome so soon.
Arrangements were being made for Tiwary to return home, his cousin Ramesh Tiwary said in Singapore.
"He was alone when the decision was delivered on Thursday, but we were informed immediately. We`re relieved and happy he has been vindicated, because we have always maintained he was innocent of this crime," the paper quoted Ramesh as saying.