Thursday, July 23, 2009

Death Penalty News - Malaysia (Jan - May 2009)

Below are some news reports about death penalty in Malaysia (Jan- May 2009). We reiterate our call for the abolition of the death penalty.

We call on Malaysia to comply with the United Nations General Assembly Resolution of December 2007 (Resolution 62/149), and the recent 18th December 2008 Resolution - both of which called for a MORATORIUM on executions. See also
Malaysia executes - hours after passing of 2nd UN Resolution asking for stop of all executions

9 January 2009 - Shah Alam (Source: New Straits Times - Malaysia)

Drug trafficker to hang

The High Court yesterday sentenced to death a man from Aceh for trafficking in 491g of ganja in 2006.

Teuku Nawardin Syamsuar, 32, unemployed, was found guilty of committing the offence in front of the AS Logistics Sdn Bhd factory in Jalan Teluk Kapas, Rantau Panjang, Klang, at 8.45pm on Oct 9.

Police found the drugs in a pocket of his trousers.

Teuku Nawardin showed no emotion when sentence was passed by judge Datuk Syed Ahmad Helmy Syed Ahmad.


17 January 2009 - Kota Kinabalu (Star)

Attendant gets death penalty

A lorry attendant was sentenced to death by the High Court here after he was found guilty of murdering a 47-year-old businesswoman five years ago.

High Court judge Justice Clement Skinner delivered the sentence on Hasanuddin Sinring, 28, after he ruled that the defence had failed to cast a reasonable doubt on the prosecution’s case.

Hasanuddin was accused of murdering Elizabeth Wong Oi Chin at about 6.15pm on Oct 31, 2004, at the car park behind Poring Cinema in Asia City.


23 January 2009 - Kuching (New Strait Times)

Ex-college student emotionless after death sentence appeal dismissed

A 31-year-old former college student showed no emotion when the Federal Court dismissed his appeal against a death sentence imposed by the lower court for trafficking in drugs 10 years ago.

After the court reaffirmed the death sentence on Teng Howe Sing imposed by the Sibu High Court and reaffirmed by the Court of Appeal, Teng was seen conversing with his parents before he was whisked away to the prison.

"We do not wish to disturb the findings of the lower court," Federal Court judge Datuk Zulkefli Ahmad Makinudin said in a written judgment today.

The High Court and the Court of Appeal had come to the same conclusion that Teng had knowledge of the drugs when he was caught by the police.

Zulkefli agreed that this was a case of actual possession and that Teng had failed to raise a reasonable doubt on the prosecution's case and rebut the presumption of trafficking.

Teng was charged with trafficking in 371.12 grammes of cannabis in front of WWW Chat Cafe, Jalan Kai Peng, Off Jalan Tuanku Osman in Sibu about 7.50pm on March 17, 1999.

Teng and another man, identified as Moh Yong Ming, were arrested by police in an ambush. They were seen coming down the staircase that led to the offices of Skynet Worldwide Courier Services on the second floor of a shophouse block, and were walking toward a motorcycle parked outside.

They ran away when the police shouted "Polis, jangan lari". Teng was seen throwing away a package, containing the drugs. He and Moh, who turned a prosecution witness, were taken to the Sibu Central Police Station for investigation.

The police seized a Skynet Consignment Note, a wallet and a handphone from Teng. He had collected the package from Skynet office by signing himself as Ling Hang Wei.

The package, from a person known as Ah Mui in Selangor written on the reverse side, was addressed to "Jeffrey Wong, Sibu".

The chemist confirmed that the dried leaves inside the package were cannabis.


23 January 2009 - Muar (Star)

Death sentence for trafficking morphine, heroin

The High Court here on Friday sentenced a 41-year-old man to the gallows after finding him guilty of trafficking 21.6gms of morphine and heroin in 2003.

Ng Pak Nang, from Jalan Daud here, was calm when Justice Datuk Ahmadi Asnawi passed the sentence under Section 39B(2) of the Dangerous Drugs Act 1952.

Ng, who was represented by counsel Diljit Kaur, was charged under Section 39B(1) (a) of the same act after he was arrested on May 6, 2003.

According to the charge, he was arrested at his house along Jalan Daud at about 3.20pm and was found to have had 11.16gms of morphine and 10.44gms of heroin.

Although he was living with his parents in the house, the drugs were found in his room.

Justice Ahmadi said the prosecution led by deputy public prosecutor Ashrof Adrin Kamarul had succeeded in proving the case beyond any doubt.


30 January 2009 - Johor Baru (Star)

Van driver gets death for trafficking

A 30-year-old former van driver was sentenced to death for drug trafficking by a High Court here.

Mohd Rizal Mohd Jamil, from Kangkar Tebrau, had been charged with trafficking 766.6g of cannabis at around 7pm on Feb 7, 2006 at the Tebrau industrial area in Kangkar Tebrau, Plentong.

High Court Judicial Commissioner Datuk Mohd Zawawi Salleh said the defence had failed to cast reasonable doubt over the prosecution’s case.

In his judgement, he accepted the evidence tendered by the police over the drugs, which had been found in the car Mohd Rizal had been driving.

He also rejected defence counsel A. Vimala’s argument that Mohd Rizal’s statement when he was arrested was a confession, but said the accused was merely providing the police with information.

Vimala had argued that when police had arrested Mohd Rizal, her client had confessed that there were illegal goods in his car.

She said that the confession should not be admissible in court, as the police had not properly cautioned the suspect at that time.

Mohd Zawawi also ruled that Mohd Rizal knew about the drugs as they were kept in plain view in the accessory compartment of the car next to the steering wheel.

He said that he had no other choice but to pass the mandatory death sentence.


31 January 2009 - Malacca (AsiaOne News)

Singaporean gets death for Malacca murder

A 29-year-old Singaporean was sentenced to death yesterday by the High Court here for the murder of a 42-year-old Taiwanese woman five years ago.

Kelvyn John was found guilty by the court for the murder of housewife Lin Fang Chu, who was found dead with multiple stab and slash wounds at her condominium on Oct 19, 2004.

High Court judge Abdu Samah Nordin said that the court was convinced beyond reasonable doubt that the accused had committed the offence.

Justice Abdu Samah said that the victim had suffered 18 stab and slash wounds on her head, arms and body.

He said that just by looking at the post-mortem photographs of the victim, any reasonable or sane person could see that the killer was ruthless and cruel.

The judge rejected the defence argument of provocation and self-defence, saying that John had fabricated his explanation for attacking Ms Lin.

He also noted that John had shown no emotions throughout the entire proceedings.

The accused, who served in the Singapore Armed Forces and lived opposite the victim's house, had gone over on the pretext of borrowing a pail of water from her.

However, he stabbed and slashed the woman in her kitchen and subsequently attacked one of her three daughters who was at home at the time.

He forced the 16-year-old girl to bind her dying mother's feet and hands before he took the teen up to a room, where he slashed her several times on the head and then tied her hands and feet with a pair of shoelaces.

The accused, who ran his own business in Malacca, then made off with a mobile phone and NT$9,200 (S$410).

He was arrested two days later.

The dead woman's husband, Mr Lu Shar Hua, 51, said he was satisfied with the verdict.

'I have been waiting for this day to come for more than four years, and I am happy to see that justice has been done today for my deceased wife,' he said.

Mr Lu, who continues to live in Malacca with his children, also praised the country's legal system for being impartial and fair.


31 January 2009 - Kuala Lumpur (New Straits Times)

Two foreigners to hang for drug trafficking

A man from Peru was sentenced to death by the High Court yesterday after he was found guilty of trafficking in cocaine two years ago.

Judicial Commissioner Azman Abdullah passed the sentence on Amasifuen Tello Reyes, 30, after finding the defence had failed to raise any doubt in the prosecution's case.

Reyes was ordered to enter his defence by Azman on Wednesday after the court ruled that the prosecution had established a prima facie case against him.

He was charged with trafficking in 714 grammes of cocaine along the roadside near Jalan Sultan here about 7.30pm on May 15, 2007.

According to the facts of the case, a police team acting on a tip-off trailed Reyes from Kuala Lumpur International Airport after he arrived on a transit flight from Buenos Aires to Singapore.

Initially, the officers did not find any drugs on him.

Reyes was then taken to the Kuala Lumpur Hospital and a X-ray of his body revealed that there were more than 100 small tubes in his stomach.

He was admitted for four days at the hospital to "flush out" the tubes and a total of 114 tubes were recovered.

Further examination confirmed the tubes contained cocaine.

Reyes's counsel Tharamjit Singh told the court that Reyes had been jobless almost six months after he was retrenched from a factory in his hometown and was lured by a drug syndicate which had offered him US$3,000 (RM10,820).

Deputy public prosecutor Ahmad Fuad Othman argued that the law was very clear whether the accused was a local or foreigner, and the only punishment for drug trafficking in Malaysia was the mandatory death sentence.

In Shah Alam, a man from Aceh was sentenced to death by the High Court for trafficking in 406.93 grammes of cannabis three years ago.

High Court judge Datuk Syed Ahmad Helmy Syed Ahmad found contract worker Faisal Abdul Aziz, 33, guilty of trafficking in the drug at an oil palm plantation in Dengkil at 5.30pm on Jan 3, 2006.

Syed Ahmad said the prosecution, conducted by DPP Mohd Nordin Ismail, had succeeded in proving that Faisal was involved in trafficking drugs.

Faisal, who has been in remand since he was charged two years ago, cried as the sentence was read out to him.

He was represented by counsel A. Srimurugan.


6 February 2009 - Kuala Lumpur (Star)

Identical twins escape death penalty

A pair of identical twins was acquitted and discharged by the High Court here Friday of drug trafficking because of difficulty in identifying which of the two was in possession of the drugs five years ago.

Justice Zaharah Ibrahim, who described the case as unique, said that although R. Sathis Raj and R. Sabarish Raj, 27, looked alike and had identical DNA, which made it difficult to differentiate between them, there was no doubt that one of them was the culprit.

”My job, as required by the law, is to determine whether the prosecution has succeeded in establishing a prima facie against the two accused. In this case, both are identical twins.

”Arresting officer Chief Inspector N. Sekaran, when identifying the first twin, was sceptical, but when asked by counsel, said that he needed some time and yet was still not so sure when identifying the first twin.

”A member in the arresting team, Kpl Mohamad Sidek Paiman, at first could not identify, but later asked for both the twins to stand and said there was a difference in their height. However, he identified the first twin as the one wearing spectacles.

”The question is, which of the twins was arrested first. Is it the one wearing the spectacles because at the time of arrest both were not wearing spectacles.

”Mohamad Sidek said he only identified them from the shirts they wore on that day,” she added.

Sathis Raj and Sabarish Raj were charged with their brother, R. Deva Raj, 43, now deceased, with two counts of trafficking in 166,336gm of canabis and 1,762gm of raw opium at a house in Jalan SS 2/19, Petaling Jaya, at about 4.05pm on Aug 5, 2003. Justice Zaharah said that based on the testimonies by the two policemen, there were doubts and the prosecution had failed to determine which of the twins was in possession of the drugs.

“One of the accused should be called to enter his defence but the question is which twin, because even the DNA cannot be used to determine the identity. On the day of the incident, both were not wearing spectacles. Otherwise, that could have been used as a basis for Mohamad Sidek to identify the first twin.

She said that although one of them was indeed in possession of the drugs, she was acquitting both because she could not afford to send the wrong person to the gallows.

After Justice Zaharah delivered her judgment, the twins, both clad in white shirts, cried and hugged each other.

Deputy public prosecutor Rosidah Abu Bakar prosecuted while counsel Gurbachan Singh appeared for the twins.


16 February 2009 - Johor Baru (Star)

Taxi driver sentenced to death for drug trafficking

A part time taxi driver was sentenced to death by a High Court after he was found guilty of trafficking drugs.

Romi Amora Amir, 38, from Larkin Jaya, had been charged on Aug 5 in 2005 with trafficking in 466.4g of cannabis on July 24, 2005 at around 4.20am in front of Kedai Wah Seng and Cold Storage along Jalan Tebrau in Kim Teng Park.

Romi Amora also faced a separate charge of possessing 0.7g of cannabis.

During the trial, the prosecution told the court that police had found the 466.g of drugs under the driver’s seat of the taxi Romi Amora had been driving.

Deputy public prosecutor Laila Lateh also told the court that police had found the 0.7g of cannabis in Romi Amoras right side pant pocket upon inspection.

Romi Amora, who was represented by defence counsel Sukhaimi Mashud denied both charges and claimed he had no knowledge of the drugs found in the taxi.

He told the court that the drugs could have been left in the taxi by four passengers he had carried just prior to being arrested by the police.

Romi Amora also said that the taxi was borrowed from his friend, and that it was possible that his friend’s wife, who owned the taxi, had placed the drugs there.

The accused also denied that any drugs had been found in his pocket and claimed that the police had actually found all the drugs only in the taxi.

In his mitigation, Romi Amora pleaded to the court for mercy and said that he had three children and that his father had passed away.

High Court Judicial Commissioner Datuk Mohd Zawawi Salleh ruled that the defence had failed to cast doubt on the prosecution’s case.

He said that it was not reasonable to believe that a wife would plant drugs in the taxi to get her husband in trouble, as alleged by the suspect.

He also pointed out that in the trial, it had been established that the couple had a good relationship and that it was illogical for the passengers to leave drugs with a high street value in a stranger’s taxi.

On the drugs found in the suspects pant pocket, Mohd Zawawi ruled that the police had no motive to create the story.


17 February 2009 - Putrajaya (New Straits Times)

Death Row duo want to get it over quickly

Two men on Death Row declared yesterday they would not be seeking clemency from the Pardons Board.

Debt collector G. Krishna Rao and brother-in-law, ex-cop M. Rajendran, said the 10-year appeal process had taken its toll on them and they preferred to be hanged soon.

They said this moments after the Federal Court reaffirmed the death sentence on the two men for the murder of four people in Ipoh 11 years ago.

"The long wait has affected me, my family and other relatives," Krishna Rao, 39, told the New Straits Times.

Rajendran, 43, said being on Death Row had sapped him mentally and emotionally.

"I cannot bear living in solitary confinement anymore," he said.

Rajendran was married to Krishna Rao's sister.

Lawyer Malik Imtiaz Sarwar, who appeared for Rajendran, and Ahmad Nizam Mohamed, who represented Krishna Rao, said they would meet their clients in Kajang prison in a day or two to take instructions.

The lawyers could make representation to the board to consider commuting their clients' death penalty to jail sentences.

Krishna Rao, Rajendran and goldsmith K. Kumaresan, then 24, were jointly charged with the murders of S. Veeramah, 48, her son N. Sathian, 15, and Indonesian maid Juriyah @ Sariyah, 35.

The offences were committed at a house in Taman Seri Dermawan, Bercham, between 6.30pm on March 12, 1998 and 11.45pm the following day.

They were also charged with the murder of part-time watchman M. Balakrishnan 52, at Malligah Jewellers in Jalan Lahat, during the same date and time frame in March 1998.

Kumaresan was acquitted without his defence being called.

In August 1999, High Court Judge Datuk Kang Hwee Ghee sentenced Krishna Rao to death after he opted to remain silent. Rajendran received the same sentence after giving evidence under oath.

In Jan 2007, the Court of Appeal dismissed their appeals.

Yesterday, Federal Court judge Tan Sri Richard Malanjum, who delivered the unanimous ruling, said there was no miscarriage of justice in the concurrent finding of facts by the High Court and the Court of Appeal.

Malanjum, who sat with Datuk Nik Hashim Nik Abdul Rahman and Datuk Hashim Yusof, said evidence by a consultant forensic pathologist revealed the four were murdered in a brutal manner as they suffered multiple stab wounds.

Malanjum said the trial judge was correct in admitting as evidence the information by Krishna Rao which lead to the discovery of Balakrishnan's body and that of Rajendran, who hid the stolen jewellery in Ulu Kinta.

He said the prosecution had proved that the two had common intention to commit the crimes.


25 February 2009 - Putrajaya (New Straits Times)

'Allow those on Death Row early appeals'

The Bar Council wants the judiciary to fast track the appeals of convicted prisoners placed on Death Row.

Its Criminal Law Practice Committee chairman, Hisyam Teh Poh Teik, said it was inhumane for such prisoners to remain in solitary confinement for a long period.

"It amounts to additional punishment as prisoners do not know the finality of their appeals."

Hisyam said this in response to a New Straits Times report last week where two men declared that they would not seek clemency from the Pardons Board as they had been on Death Row for almost 10 years.

One of them, G. Krishna Rao, said the long wait had affected him, his family and relatives.

Krishna, 39, a former debt collector, said he could no longer go through the mental stress of being alone in a cell for 23 hours a day.

He and his brother-in-law M. Rajendran, 43, murdered four people in Ipoh, 12 years ago.

In August 1999, the High Court found them guilty of the quadruple murders.

The Court of Appeal and the Federal Court dismissed their appeals in 2007 and last week respectively.

Hisyam hoped Chief Justice Tan Sri Zaki Azmi who had recognised the problem would take a proactive step in the matter.

"The appeal process must be expedited and this includes preparation of appeal records by the court staff from the trial court."

He said lawyers and prosecutors must also be ready to conduct appeals soon after the appellate court had fixed the date.

Meanwhile, veteran lawyer and MP for Bukit Gelugor Karpal Singh said the then Supreme Court in 1976 had given the authorities a timely reminder that those facing capital punishment should be accorded a speedy trial.

Karpal said in Singapore, the appeals of such convicted prisoners were disposed of within 18 months after their conviction.

He said an early disposal was necessary because the law did not provide compensation to those placed under Death Row but who had won their appeals.

Karpal said prisoners who made representations to the board were also unsure of an early decision as there were many cases to be looked at.

He said only the Attorney-General could provide his opinion before the board tendered its advice on a representation.

He said a commutation of death penalty to life imprisonment only starts from the decision date of the board.

"I understand the agony of prisoners who have to spend many years inside their cells while awaiting the decision of the board."


28 February 2009 - Shah Alam (Star)

Technician gets death for drug trafficking

A former customer service technician was sentenced to death after the High Court found him guilty of drug trafficking.

M. Saravanan Muthu, 35, was visibly shaken when High Court judge Justice Datuk Syed Ahmad Helmy Syed Ahmad pronounced the death sentence.

Saravanan, from Balakong, wept as he heard the news and as his mother bade him farewell after the sentence was meted out. He was found guilty of trafficking in 1,800gms of cannabis at a petrol station in Jalan Utara in Petaling district at about 9pm on March 9, 2006.

Justice Syed Ahmad Helmy said the prosecution had proved the case beyond reasonable doubt.


5 March 2009 - Shah Alam (New Straits Times/Sun)

Mineral water seller to hang for shooting at policemen

A mineral water seller was sentenced to death by the High Court here today after being found guilty of firing at four policemen during a bank robbery seven years ago.

Justice Datuk Su Geok Yiam imposed the sentence after the prosecution, represented by Deputy Public Prosecutor Salim Soib, had proven the case beyond reasonable doubt against the accused Yong Kar Mun, 40.

The accused, who was standing in the dock, appeared calm shortly after the judge read the verdict.

Yong was found guilty of opening fire at policemen Julayili Hassan, Yuzry Awang Takong, Abdul Ghani Ahmad and Mohd Fadzil Ibrahim with the intention of causing injury or death to the policemen at the Maybank located at No 7 and 8, Jalan Tanjong SD, 13/1 Bandar Sri Damansara, Sungai Buloh, Petaling Jaya, at about 3.25pm on June 3, 2002.

Yong was accused of committing the offence with an accomplice, Teng Mun Hoong, 40, who died shortly after the incident.

Yong, who was arrested on the day of the incident, was charged under Section 3 of the Firearms Act (Increased Penalty) 1971 (Act 37) which carries the death sentence upon conviction.

In the incident, Yong's accomplice was shot dead about 100 metres from the bank after the duo attempted to flee on a motorcycle with RM836,717 in cash and Singapore currency.

Throughout the trial, the prosecution produced 11 witnesses while the defence produced one.


27 March 2009 - Putrajaya (New Straits Times)

Canny Ong's murderer to hang

Ahmad Najib Aris, the former aircraft cleaning supervisor convicted of the rape and murder of IT analyst Canny Ong Lay Kian six years ago, today lost his final appeal to quash his conviction.

This follows a decision by the Federal Court to uphold the death sentence on the man for committing the crimes on Ong whose charred remains were found in a manhole near a highway construction site in 2003.

In rejecting Ahmad Najib's final appeal to quash his conviction and death sentence, Federal Court Judge Datuk Zulkefli Ahmad Makinuddin who read the judgment, said the court was satisfied there was circumstantial evidence and the evidence in its entirety, to come to the conclusion it was Ahmad Najib and no one else who was responsible for what happened to Ong that night.

In his 47-page judgment, he said the prosecution's evidence from the relevant prosecution witnesses also showed that Ahmad Najib was seen with Ong at various places that night.

In a unanimous decision, Zulkefli said the Court of Appeal had made a correct finding in relying on the contents of the chemist's report that the circumstantial evidence, including the discovery of Ong's bloodstains on the trousers found in Ahmad Najib's house, pointed to the fact that no one else, except Ahmad Najib, responsible to what happened to the victim.

The appeal was heard before a five-man bench comprising Chief Judge of Malaya Datuk Arifin Zakaria, Federal Court Justices, Datuk Nik Hashim Nik Ab Rahman, Datuk S. Augustine Paul, Datuk Hashim Yusoff and Zulkefli.

Ahmad Najib, wearing a black and white short-sleeved shirt and black trousers, was composed when the verdict was announced.

After the proceedings, Ahmad Najib who was accompanied by his mother, Rapipah Ahmad, and youngest sister Suhana, was asked to comment on the court's decision.

He said: "I had expected this decision."

Ahmad Najib, 33, had appealed against the Court of Appeal's dismissal of his appeal to set aside his conviction, death sentence and 20-year jail term meted out by the Shah Alam High Court on Feb 23, 2005, for the rape and murder of the 28-year-old victim.

He was found guilty of committing the offences at 7th Mile, Jalan Klang Lama, between 1am and 5am on June 14, 2003.

The 46-day trial at the High Court began on Sept 15, 2003 and ended on May 20, 2004, when the prosecution closed its case. The judge ordered Ahmad Najib to make his defence.

"From the evidence explained at the High Court, it is clear that PW4 (prosecution witness) had positively identified the appellant (Ahmad Najib) as the person who was with the deceased on the night of June 13, 2003," he said.

Zulkefli said a DNA test confirmed Ahmad Najib's semen in Ong's vagina which proved that he had intercourse with the victim.

"The contents of the chemist's report have the direct effect of linking the appellant (Ahmad Najib) to the commission of the rape and murder of the deceased (Ong)," he said.

8 April 2009 - Putrajaya (New Straits Times)

Man to hang for Herzog's murder

A young man due to be released from prison next year for causing the death of German-born Australian Hans Herzog, now faces the gallows instead.

Low Kian Boon, 24, was yesterday sent to death row after the Court of Appeal set aside his 10-year jail sentence and found him guilty of murdering the 59-year-old businessman.

Judge Datuk Gopal Sri Ram also ordered Low's co-accused, a juvenile aged 17 at the time of the offence, to be detained at the pleasure of the sultan.

Sri Ram, who sat with Datuk Hasan Lah and Datuk Jeffrey Tan, said they found the two accused to have intended to inflict the fatal wounds which caused the death of the deceased.

"The attack on the deceased was pre-planned. This was supported (through evidence adduced) by the purchase of two parang and the manner in which the two accused had entered the deceased's home.

"Taking into account the element of premeditation, the nature of the weapon used, the nature of injuries which indicated a savage attack and other circumstances, the conclusion is that they intended to kill the deceased."

Having heard submissions on Tuesday by the prosecution and the defence, he said the latter's plea of innocence had failed.

"We found the prosecution had established all the ingredients of murder at the High Court and the judge had, therefore, misdirected himself on the facts and evidence for convicting them of a lesser charge (of culpable homicide not amounting to murder)."

As the juvenile was aged 17 at the time of the offence, Sri Ram said he fell within the Child Act 2001, where no death sentence should be passed upon him.

"We, therefore, direct him to be detained at a place of lawful imprisonment at the pleasure of the Sultan of Selangor.

"As for the first accused, Low Kian Boon, this court finds you guilty of murder and it is the judgment of this court that you be taken to a place where you will be hanged until you are dead."

Low and his co-accused, now aged 23, looked calm when the sentence was passed.

They were initially charged with murdering Herzog at his home in Taman Subang Mewah in Subang Jaya, Selangor between 12.30am and 12.45am on Nov 12, 2003.

They were tried and convicted on a lesser charge and both were sentenced to 10 years' imprisonment in 2004.

They were ordered to serve the sentence from the date of their arrest in November 2003.

They were expected to be released next year after taking into account a one third remission for good behaviour.

The prosecution appealed against the High Court's decision in convicting them on a lesser charge, while the defence cross-appealed against the conviction on the grounds that their clients were innocent.

Deputy public prosecutor Ahmad Bache prosecuted. Low was represented by counsel Edmund Bon while Karpal Singh and Sangeet Kaur Deo appeared for the co-accused.


8 April 2009 - Kuala Lumpur (AFP)

Malaysian policemen to hang for murder

Two Malaysian policemen were sentenced to death Thursday for the murder of Mongolian woman Altantuya Shaariibuu, in a sensational case the opposition has tried to link with new premier Najib Razak.

Abdul Razak Baginda, a close associate of Najib who was sworn in as prime minister last week, had been accused of ordering police to kill his former lover after she came to his family home to harass him for money.

But last year he was acquitted of abetting the 2006 slaying of the 28-year-old model and interpreter -- a case which, with its ingredients of sex, politics and violence, has captivated the nation.

Altantuya's body was blown up with military-grade explosives in a jungle clearing, leaving only shattered bone fragments as evidence.

The two officers found guilty of the murder, Chief Inspector Azilah Hadri and Corporal Sirul Azhar Umar, are from an elite unit that guards the prime minister and deputy prime minister.

"Each of them are blaming the other, they failed to raise reasonable doubt against the prosecution's case. I convict both of you as charged," said Shah Alam High Court judge Zaki Mohamad Yasin.

"I sentence both of you to death. You will be taken to a place of execution where you will be hanged by your neck until you are dead," he said.

The pair looked calm when the sentence was handed down, and then stepped out of the dock and hugged their lawyers, who later said they would file an appeal.

Azilah's fiance, Nur Azila Baharuddin, insisted the pair were not guilty.

"We expected him to be acquitted but the judge has made the decision. We will wait for the next stage," she told reporters. "I really want to marry him, I have been waiting for so long since 2006."

Malaysia's top blogger Raja Petra Kamaruddin has been charged with sedition after repeatedly linked Najib and his wife to the murder on his popular website Malaysia Today.

Najib has vehemently denied any involvement in the killing and said he never even met Altantuya, but despite any evidence linking him to the case, the allegations persist and the opposition has called for an official inquiry.

Karpal Singh, an opposition politician and leading lawyer who is representing Altantuya's family, said the verdict left many questions unanswered.

"You must satisfy the international community. The international community does not accept that only these two are responsible for the murder. It goes beyond these two," he told reporters.

"These two have no motive, they didn't even know her before."

Altantuya's father Setev Shaariibuu was distraught over the acquittal last year, in a case seen as a test of the strength of Malaysia's much-criticised judiciary.

"I am not satisfied. My daughter knows only one Malaysian and it is Razak Baginda. Now my daughter is dead and Baginda is freed... the country has lost credibility in the world," he told reporters at the time.

Setev Shaariibuu was not present in court on Thursday.


9 April 2009 - Kuala Lumpur (Star)

Man facing firing squad in China wants to meet kin

A National Drug Prevention Association (Pemadam) life member who is on death row in China for drug smuggling wants to meet his siblings for the last time.

Malaysian Ong Kim Fatt, 44, who is also a Rela member, was supposed to face the firing squad in February but the execution was postponed in order for his last wish to be fulfilled.

Ong, who lived in Lorong Haji Taib 5, wants to meet his brothers – Hock Kooi, 38, and Hock Kiang, 41, – and sisters Siew Chin, 35, and Kam Yoke, 45.

He was arrested at the Gao Qi International Airport in Xiamen on Sept 19, 2007 after Customs officers confiscated 13 packets of heroin weighing nearly 1.5kg from him.

The drug, wrapped in plastic bags, was hidden in his luggage. Ong flew in from Manila.

The Chinese authorities have sought help from Malaysia to trace Ong’s siblings but efforts to locate them in the past two months failed.

Last Friday, the Foreign Ministry turned to MCA Public Services and Complaints Bureau head Datuk Michael Chong for assistance to locate Ong’s family.

At a press conference yesterday, Chong urged those who knew their whereabouts to contact him at 03-2161 5678.


14 April 2009 - Kuala Lumpur (Star)

Chong seeks ministry’s help in death row clemency bid

MCA Public Service and Complaints Department head Datuk Michael Chong will meet Deputy Foreign Minister Datuk Lee Chee Leong on Thursday to discuss a clemency appeal for Ong Kim Fatt, who is on death row in China.

Chong said the department would be seeking the assistance of the Foreign Ministry to appeal for Ong’s death sentence to be commuted to life imprisonment.

“We hope to plead for clemency with the Chinese authorities because this death sentence was the first to be meted out for a drug offence since World War II,” he told the press conference.

Ong, 44, was found guilty of trafficking in 13 packets of heroin weighing 1,480gm at the Xiamen Gao Qi International Airport on Sept 19, 2007.

Ong, a Rela member, was to face the firing squad in February but the execution was postponed to fulfil his last wish of meeting his siblings.

Meanwhile, MCA Bukit Bintang chairman Datuk Dr Lee Chong Meng, who was also at the press conference, said he had located Ong’s family members.

Coincidentally, they were residing on the top floor in the same building as his service centre in Lorong Haji Taib in Chow Kit here.

Two members of the family, Hock Kooi, 38, and Hock Kiang, 41, were present at the press conference.

Dr Lee, who is a former Bukit Bintang MP, said one of the family members was mentally unstable while three others were odd-jobbers.


14 April 2009 - Kota Kinabalu (Daily Express)

Man's death verdict is upheld

A 55-year-old local, who was sentenced to death seven years ago for murdering his female companion, failed in his appeal against conviction and sentence in the Court of Appeal here Monday.

Justice Tengku Datuk Baharudin Shah Tengku Mahmud, who sat with Justice Datuk Md Raus Sharif and Justice Datuk Abdul Hamid Embong, unanimously dismissed Chung Tain Kong's appeal after hearing submissions from his counsel Datuk Chau Chin Tang and Deputy Public Prosecutor Ahmad Bache.

Unemployed Chung was found guilty and convicted by the High Court on May 5, 2003 for murdering one Lee Chin Hiong, 36, with a knife at 2.30pm on Jan 17, 2007 at House No: 18, Lorong Muntahan 3, Taman Cendawan, here.

The offence under Section 302 of the Penal Code carries a mandatory death sentence on conviction.

Earlier, Chau submitted, among others, that the trial judge had accepted on assumption that the appellant had been attacked by the deceased but had exceeded his right of self-defence, the appellant should therefore only be convicted under Section 304(a) of the Penal Code and not Section 302.

He said in the light of the clear failure of the trial judge's compliance with the laws relating to his duty when dealing with the defence and the culminative effect of all the grounds, "how would he be in a proper position to say whether the appellant had raised a reasonable doubt to the prosecution case or that the prosecution had proved its case against the appellant beyond a reasonable doubt?"

In the circumstances the appellant's conviction should have been vitiated by all the infirmities, Chau said.


14 April 2009 - Shah Alam (Star)

Sirul files appeal over death penalty

Police Special Action Force (UTK) officer Kpl Sirul Azhar Umar has filed an appeal against his conviction and death sentence for the murder of Mongolian translator Altantuya Shaariibuu.

His lawyer Ahmad Zaidi Zainal filed the application on his behalf at the High Court registry here at 11am yesterday.

On Thursday, Kpl Sirul and his co-accused Chief Inspector Azilah Hadri were found guilty of the murder after a trial, which took 165 days, and were ordered to be sent to the gallows.

Both of them had claimed trial to murdering Altantuya, 28, at Mukim Bukit Raja, here, between 10pm on Oct 19 and 1am on Oct 20, 2006.

Azilah, represented by his lawyer, had filed his appeal against the conviction last Friday.


22 April 2009 - Temerloh (Star)

Two Thais To Hang For Trafficking In Cannabis

Two thai nationals were sentenced to death by the High Court here today for trafficking in 18.754kg of cannabis at a petrol station in Bentong five years ago.

Justice Datuk Abdul Halim Aman, in convicting Sureeya Wuttisat, 45, and Asan Tong, 47, both of Narathiwat province, held that the defence had failed to cast a doubt on the prosecution's case.

They were found guilty of committing the offence at the Esso petrol station in Jalan Ketari, Bentong, at 3.30pm on April 24, 2004.

The offence under section 39B of the Dangerous Drugs Act 1952 carries the mandatory death sentence.

The prosecution called 13 witnesses and the defence, four.

Deputy public prosecutor Datuk Razali Che Ani appeared for the prosecution while the two were represented by counsel Muhammad Hasif Hasan.


23 April 2009 - Kuala Lumpur (Star)

M’sia appeals for clemency for man on China death row

The Foreign Ministry has already sent a clemency appeal for Malaysian Ong Kim Fatt who is on death row in China for drug trafficking, said its Deputy Minister Datuk Lee Chee Leong.

Ong is the first one to face the death sentence for a drug offence in China since World War II.

“We have sent a letter to our Chinese counterpart appealing for Ong’s death sentence to be commuted to life imprisonment,” Lee said in a press conference at Wisma MCA on Thursday.

He added that the Malaysian Embassy there has also been appealing to the Chinese court regarding this matter.

“We want to remind all Malaysians to respect and abide by the laws of the countries they are travelling in,” he said.

Ong, 44, was found guilty of trafficking 13 packets of heroin weighing 1,480gm at the Xiamen Gao Qi International Airport on Sept 19, 2007.

Earlier last week, MCA Public Service and Complaints Department head Datuk Michael Chong sought the Foreign Ministry’s help to lessen Ong’s predicament as the death sentence was the first one to be dealt out for a drug offence since World War II.

Ong was to have faced the firing squad in February but the execution was postponed to Apr 29 to fulfil his last wish of meeting his siblings.

MCA Bukit Bintang chairman Datuk Dr Lee Chong Meng, who was also at the press conference, said that he will be accompanying Ong’s brothers, Hock Hooi, 38, and Hock Kiang, 41, to China on Apr 27 to fulfil Ong’s last wish and hopefully get his clemency appeal approved.

Previously, Dr Lee managed to find Ong’s family members as they were coincidentally residing on the top floor of the building where his service centre in Chow Kit is located.

“I hope that Ong is given some leniency as I believe that he was used by a drug syndicate somewhere. He is not a smart man. He can be very naive,” Dr Lee said.

Dr Lee added that it was unlikely that Ong had had enough money to buy the heroin himself.

Meanwhile, Chong said that he had spoken to Interpol’s National Centre Bureau assistant director Supt Gan Tack Guan, who informed him that Interpol was still probing into the matter.

“Investigations will carry on until they find out who the real culprits are. We want the drug syndicate exposed,” he said.


12 May 2009 - Kuantan (New Straits Times)

It's death for former cop

A former policeman was sentenced to death after he was found guilty of trafficking in 811.9g of ganja four years ago.

Judge Datuk Abdul Halim Aman made the decision after Mohd Isa Zainal Abidin, 52, failed to raise a reasonable doubt in the prosecution's case.

The former lance corporal at Pekan police headquarters was represented by counsel Bob Arumugam while deputy public prosecutor Nor Azizah Mohamad prosecuted.

Isa was found guilty on two charges of trafficking in ganja at two locations.


12 May 2009 - Kuala Lumpur (Bernama)

Two Thais To Hang For Drug Trafficking

The High Court here Monday sent two Thai nationals to hang after finding them guilty of trafficking in 34.9kg of cannabis.

Masoh Daloh, 35, and Romuelee Yakoh, 46, committed the offence at a Titiwangsa Lake Park carpark at 12.10am on Feb 20, 2002. Police found the drugs in a car.

Judge Datuk Wira Moktarudin Baki said that after studying the arguments presented by both parties, the court found that the defence had failed to cast doubts on the prosecution's case.

Masoh and Romuelee were represented by lawyer Naran Singh while the prosecution was conducted by Deputy Public Prosecutor Othman Yusof.

14 May 2009, Kuala Lumpur (Bernama)

Housewife Sent To The Gallows For Husband's Death

A housewife and her cousin were ordered sent to the gallows by the High Court here today after they were found guilty of murdering her husband five years ago.

Justice Datuk Zaharah Ibrahim handed down the sentence after finding that the prosecution had established its case beyond reasonable doubt.

"Therefore, both of you, Shamim Bano Mohammed Farooque and Javeed Akhtar Abdul Waheed, are convicted of the murder under section 302 of the Penal Code and are sentenced to death by hanging," he added.

Shamim and Javeed were charged with murdering Reyaz Ahamed Maruf, 39, managing director of a plastic recycling company, at a house in Jalan 4/12G, section 4 Tambahan, Bandar Baru Bangi, near here, between 10pm on Nov 7, 2004, and 3am the following day.

A total of 16 prosecution witnesses were called during the trial, following which, on Nov 21, 2008, Shamim and Javeed, both from India, were ordered to enter their defence.

Shamin, who has four children, chose to testify under oath and told the court that her husband was killed by Javeed, Reyaz's friend, Ayub Khan and another man.

She said she saw the three men covered her husband's mouth and nose with plaster and then strangled him with a wire.

Javeed, in his defence, said he had no intention or motive to kill Reyaz, and that he was contacted by Shamin to help her bury Reyaz's body.

Deputy public prosecutor Roshidah Abu Bakar prosecuted while Shamin and Javeed were represented by counsel Kartar Singh and J.Kuldeep Kumar, respectively.

(Source: Bernama)


Man to hang for drug trafficking
23 May 2009, New Straits Times

An electrician was sentenced to death by the High Court yesterday after he was found guilty of trafficking drugs six years ago.

Ng Kai Wei, 28, was charged with trafficking in 77.3g of drugs (42.9g of heroin and 34.4g of monoacetylmorphines) at Ipoh-Kuala Lumpur Toll Plaza, Jalan Duta, at 11.15pm on July 22, 2003.

Judicial commissioner Zainal Azman Ab Aziz made the decision after seven prosecution witnesses and a defence witness testified.

In his defence, Ng said he had no knowledge of the bag which was found in his car.

He said he was in the car with a friend, Ting Swee Wah, who initially drove the car from Penang to Rawang. After they stopped at Rawang, Ting asked him to take over the wheel.

They were stopped by police at Jalan Duta.

In his judgment, Zainal Azman said based on the evidence, he found that 'Ting' did not exist and the defence had failed to raise any reasonable doubt in the prosecution's case against Ng.

Ng was represented by counsel Manjit Singh while deputy public prosecutor Mohd Abazafree Mohd Abbas prosecuted.

More than 3,000 Deaths in Custody in the last 20 years in Malaysia (Pop. 27 mil.)

Death in Police Custody in Malaysia has been increasing...and this is based on the information that we have obtained from the government...[It is really difficult to get information from the government - and the only way is to get an MP to ask questions...]

Relying merely on data provided by the government, it has been disclosed that there have been 150 deaths from 1990 until 2004 (10.7 per year), 108 deaths between 2000 and 2006 (18 per year), and, 85 deaths between 2003 and 2007 (21.25 per year).

In Malaysia "...from 1990 till September last year [2004], a total of 1,583 deaths among prisoners were recorded in 28 prisons nationwide, with the highest number in 2003 when 279 inmates died. During the same period, 150 detainees died in police lock-ups or custody…" - Malaysiakini, 7/2/2005

‘…Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi today revealed that 108 deaths occurred during police custody between 2000 and 2006…’ – Malaysiakini, 23/4/2007

‘…There were 85 deaths recorded in police lock-ups during the 2003-2007…-Bernama, 8/7/2008.

Make Malaysia Torture-Free - Ratify Convention on Torture, Set Up the IPCMC (MADPET- 26/6/2009)
How many deaths in custody in Malaysia since independence?

How many deaths in police custody in Malaysia since independence?

How many deaths in custody of other enforcement agencies in Malaysia since independence?

Yearly data is required to determine whether deaths in custody is on the rise, as is the case of death in police custody...
"1,535 Deaths in Custody in Malaysia between 2003 and last year" (Bernama News, 8/7/08) - this was what was revealed at the Dewan Rakyat(Parliment) on Tuesday(8/7/2008). - 1,535 Deaths in Custody in Malaysia between 2003 and last year
We know that from 1990 until September 2004, there were 1,583 + 150 deaths in custody...

Maybe about 3,000 deaths in custody in Malaysia since 1990...