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Pakistani killer of Austrian-Filipina lover seeks review of conviction

01 June 2019

Andrea Bayr was killed by Husnain with an electric drill

By Vir B. Lumicao

A Pakistani serving a life sentence for the gruesome murder of his 25-year-old Austrian-Filipino girlfriend at a Tuen Mun construction site three years ago is seeking leave from the High Court for a judicial review of his conviction.

Safdar Husnain, 29, appeared before three Court of Appeal judges on May 31 and said the judge in last year’s trial of his case did not consider an agreement between the defense and prosecution to downgrade the charge to manslaughter.
Trial Judge Kevin Zervos allowed Husnain to be tried for murder. After trial, the jury, voting 6-1, found him guilty of killing Bayr, a bar waitress and part-time model, at dawn on Mar 29, 2016.

A Pakistani friend of Husnain testified in court that he saw Husnain hitting the victim with an electric drill. The witness said he tried to stop Husnain but failed, so he ran outside the site and called the police.
Husnain’s private lawyer, David Boyton, said the trial judge did not consider a letter from a psychiatrist stating that the defendant was suffering from a narcotics-induced psychosis.

Boyton told the panel composed of Justices Andrew Macrae, Ian McWalters and Derek Pang that the defense submitted the letter to the judge during the trial in mid-January last year.
Before that, the defense had already discussed with the prosecution the possibility of  amending the murder charge to manslaughter after a report by another psychiatrist in the pretrial stage indicated the defendant’s mental state was affected by his drug-taking.
After hearing the submissions, Macrae said the panel would like to know why the trial judge proceeded with the murder trial, and would decide on the application after reviewing the transcript of the proceedings.
He adjourned the hearing to an unspecified date.

Husnain was a night-shift security guard in a footbridge construction site in Tuen Mun while Bayr, who had a young daughter with her Filipino former husband, was a waitress and manager of restaurants in Lan Kwai Fong and Wan Chai.
Bayr was born in Hong Kong to a Filipina mother and Austrian father.

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