Hong Kong prosecutors today issued a new murder indictment against Nancy Kissel, an American who successfully appealed an earlier conviction on charges of drugging and then bashing her husband to death in a luxury apartment complex.
Hong Kong's Department of Justice submitted the fresh murder charges against Kissel to the territory's High Court, which scheduled a 50-day trial starting Nov. 1, said one of her lawyers, Alexander King. Her attorneys had hoped the charges would be reduced to manslaughter.
Kissel was sentenced to life in prison after being convicted of murder in September 2005. However, last month Hong Kong's Court of Final Appeal ordered a retrial, saying she was improperly cross-examined and that the trial judge wrongly allowed hearsay evidence. It told prosecutors to file a fresh indictment.
Her first trial grabbed headlines around the world with its revelations about the breakdown of a wealthy expatriate couple's marriage in this southern Chinese financial hub.
Prosecutors alleged that Kissel carefully plotted her husband Robert's murder in November 2003, first drugging him with a milkshake laced with sedatives and then bludgeoning his head with a metal ornament. Kissel said her husband confronted her about a divorce, attacked her with a baseball bat and tried to have anal sex with her, so she killed him in self-defense.
While prosecutors portrayed Robert as a loving father, his wife said the former investment banker for Goldman Sachs and Merrill Lynch was a heavy drinker and cocaine user who frequently demanded oral and anal sex. She also acknowledged having an affair with an electrician who worked at the couple's vacation home in Vermont.
Hong Kong, a former British colony that returned to Chinese rule in 1997, still maintains a separate legal system and separate courts from the mainland.Reuse content