Thursday, July 03, 2008

Hanging Judge Ahmad Maarop sentence couple to death

When will it all end - and Malaysia abolishes the death penalty. Sentence them to life imprisonment, if need be, but not to be hanged.

Malaysia has ratified the Child Rights Convention - and surely the passing of a sentence of death is not in the "paramount interest of the child". So, this judge delayed the hanging until served their 15 years in jail.

Are they really the drug traffickers or just some fools who were asked to carry a package from one destination to another.

With the rise of cost of living - many may be forced to resort to these little tasks for some extra money, not really knowing what they are carrying most of the time. And Malaysia will send them to their death...

Thursday July 3, 2008 MYT 7:47:48 PM

Couple sentenced to death for trafficking heroin


KUALA TERENGGANU: A couple with four children, three of whom are below 16 years, was sentenced to death by the High Court hereThursday for heroin trafficking five years ago.

High Court Justice Ahmad Maarop also convicted them of possession of the narcotic and sentenced them to 15 years to jail, from their date of arrest in 2003, which they are to serve before their execution.

Justice Ahmad, now a Court of Appeal Justice, however, granted them a stay on the death sentence pending an appeal.

Azaha Abd Rani, 49, and his wife Zainun Mohd Noor, 42, both from Kelantan, were composed and unfazed when Justice Ahmad Maarop read out the verdict.

However, Azaha grasped his wife 's left hand when leaving the dock after the sentencing.

“Based on our country’s law, it is a mandatory death sentence for those convicted of drug trafficking and it’s our (court) responsibility to mete out the death penalty,” said Justice Ahmad.

The court also noted that Azaha, a taxi driver, had given a sworn statement while Zainun chose to remain silent without calling any witnesses in her defence.

The couple were charged under Section 39B (1)(a) of the Dangerous Drugs Act and Section 12 (2) of the same act for trafficking and being in possession of heroin, respectively.

They were convicted of distributing 12.25g of heroin on December 7, 2003, in front of BP petrol kiosk in Kampung Jabi, Besut.

They were also convicted of being in possession of 9.57g of heroin on the same date, time and area. Earlier in mitigation, defence counsel Aziz Derasi appealed to the court for a lighter sentence in viewof the fact that the offence was their first and they were parents to four children aged 24 years, 15 years, 11 years, and nine years.

But the Deputy Public Prosecutor Othman Abdullah argued that there was only one sentence reserved for cases under Section 39B and that was the death penalty.

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