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A Malaysian man who killed one of Australia's top heart surgeons more than two decades ago was released from jail Friday and expected to be deported back to his homeland.
Chiew Seng Liew, one of two men jailed over the fatal 1991 shooting of Victor Chang during a failed extortion attempt, was driven out of Sydney's Long Bay Correctional Centre late on Friday.
“Mr Liew has been transferred from corrective services custody today,” an immigration spokeswoman told AFP.
The 69-year-old had now been detained by immigration officials and will be deported as soon as could be arranged, she added.
It came hours after New South Wales Attorney-General Greg Smith said the government would drop its appeal against Liew's release from jail after serving 21 years of his 26-year sentence.
“We have tried to prevent the release of this offender on parole. We've done what we could,” Smith said in a statement.
Last month the NSW parole board agreed to free Liew, who has advanced Parkinson's disease, after his lawyers argued that he would soon be unfit to travel and hence be unable to be deported back to Malaysia.
At the time, Smith said the government was seeking an urgent review of the decision because it didn't feel Liew had served enough time for Chang's “tragic and senseless” murder.
“It was such a horrendous murder, we think he should serve a much longer term,” Smith said.
Liew pulled the trigger on Chang, with the man who provided the gun, Phillip Choon Tee Lim also jailed over his murder. Lim was paroled and deported to Malaysia in 2010 after serving 18 years in prison.
Chang earned an international reputation for his pioneering work on heart transplant methods and was gunned down on a pavement near his Sydney home as he made his way to work, in a killing that shocked the nation. - Sapa-AFP