Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Malaysia: Death Penalty News (16-17 February 2009)


Johor Baru

16 February 2009

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.

(Source: Star - Malaysia)


17 February 2009

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.

(Source: New Straits Times - Malaysia)

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

MALAYSIA: End Preventative Detention, Investigate Abuses

End Preventative Detention, Investigate Abuses
February 9, 2009

(Geneva) - United Nations member states should raise concerns about arbitrary and preventive detention and abuses against migrants, refugees, and asylum seekers at the upcoming review of Malaysia's human rights record, Human Rights Watch said today. Malaysia will undergo its first Universal Periodic Review (UPR) on February 11, 2009, at the Human Rights Council in Geneva. Under the process, the rights record of each member state will be reviewed once every four years.

"A long, hard look at Malaysia's performance on fundamental human rights, including its detention practices, is in order," said Elaine Pearson, deputy Asia director at Human Rights Watch. "Countries should call Malaysia to account for failing to address abuses against migrants and refugees, and for its continuing use of preventative detention."

Under Malaysia's draconian Internal Security Act (ISA), anyone deemed to be a threat to national security can be detained indefinitely without charge or trial, violating international due process standards. In its submission for the human rights review, Malaysia characterizes the ISA as "essential to peace, stability, and security" and describes the procedures under which a detained person can challenge the detention.

But Malaysia's reliance on the ISA violates a number of international human rights standards, including the right to be free from arbitrary detention, the rights to due process and to a fair trial, and the rights to freedom of speech and expression. While an advisory board reviews all ISA detentions, its recommendations are not binding. The detainees have no avenues of redress as the courts are not permitted to review a case on its merits. Permitted appeals on procedural grounds routinely fail.

On September 12, 2008, the Malaysian government arrested two journalists and an opposition politician under the ISA. All have since been released. But one of the journalists, Raja Petra Lamarudin, founder and editor of Malaysia Today, Malaysia's most popular website, is now on trial for sedition. In December 2007, five leaders of the Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf) were charged under ISA after the organization staged a demonstration to draw attention to education and economic policies that discriminate against Malaysia's Indian population. These five remain in detention.

"Malaysia uses the pretext of national security to invoke the ISA and lock up critics and political opponents indefinitely," Pearson said. "UN member states should challenge Malaysia to repeal the ISA, and either to charge or to free all those currently detained under its provisions."

In its report to the Human Rights Council, Malaysia fails to address the problems faced by migrant workers, but suggests that a Malaysia-Indonesia Memorandum of Understanding provides necessary protection. Human Rights Watch has long documented abuses suffered by domestic workers - physical abuse, unpaid wages, excessively long working hours, and lack of rest days. The memorandum with Indonesia still fails to establish minimum labor protections or to guarantee the rights of domestic workers to hold their own passports, which sometimes are confiscated by employers to maintain control over an employee.

Human Rights Watch said that UN member states should especially raise concerns about Malaysia's failure to address abuses by the People's Voluntary Corps (Ikatan Relawan Rakyat or RELA), the government-backed force that apprehends irregular migrants and provides security for Malaysia's immigration detention centers. In 2008, Human Rights Watch documented a pattern of abuse by members of RELA, including physical assault, intimidation, threats, humiliating treatment, forced entry into living quarters, extortion, and theft perpetrated against migrants, asylum seekers and refugees (

One detained migrant told Human Rights Watch how RELA members treated them "like animals" and would punch and kick detainees for no apparent reason. Another migrant described a beating by RELA officers that left him so sore that he could not walk for days. The government consistently denies that abuses by RELA are widespread, and instead of disbanding RELA, wants to upgrade it into a fully-fledged enforcement agency.

Regarding human trafficking, Malaysia's submission to the Human Rights Council points to the state's new anti-trafficking law, shelters for trafficking victims, and awareness campaigns to prevent trafficking. But Malaysia has failed to investigate allegations of collusion between Malaysian immigration officers and trafficking gangs on the Malay-Thai border, dismissing such reports as "wild accusations." In 2008, Burmese migrants told Human Rights Watch of being sold to criminal gangs, who charged those with money to smuggle them back into Malaysia and trafficked those who could not pay.

"RELA officers have beaten, tortured, and extorted money from migrants, but instead of punishing them, the government wants to reward their bad behavior by giving them more powers," said Pearson. "In reviewing Malaysia's record, states should be asking why Malaysia won't conduct impartial investigations into the involvement of RELA and immigration officers in abuses against migrants."

Malaysia has not signed major international human rights treaties, including the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, the Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees and its optional protocol, and the Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families. The Malaysian government has repeatedly stated that the Universal Declaration of Human Rights will only be given effect where it is compatible with Malaysia's constitution.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Another man beaten in police cusotody

Another report of a person being beaten up in police custody..

"...The initial doctor's report confirmed the man had bruises in the areas he claimed he was hit...."

And the police is sending the man for a second medical examination - and we wonder why they have to wait until JUNE for the results.

Sadly, no indication of any suspects, arrests, etc....or will that all happen after the results of the 2nd medical examination in June...

A speedy investigation is what we need for all these cases - and the alleged perpetrators must be investigated now...not later.

Can be look at the CCTV recordings in the police station, so that we can get clear evidence of the alleged torture... oops that may not be possible because the CCTV in police stations do not have recording capabilities...mmm

KUALA LUMPUR: A 30-year-old man has lodged a report claiming he was abused by four policemen while in custody, less than a week after the death of A. Kugan.

The incident was alleged to have taken place while the man, a suspect in several robberies, was being held in remand at the Negri Sembilan police headquarters between Jan 22 and 26.

Negri Sembilan police chief Datuk Osman Salleh said the man claimed to be sick and asked to be taken to hospital five days ago.

"We escorted him to the Tuanku Ja'afar Hospital where he lodged a police report at the beat base there," he said at the Titiwangsa Police Golf Course here yesterday. The man claimed he had been hit on the neck, hands and legs.

The alleged abuse came just days after the Jan 20 death of Kugan, a suspected member of a car theft syndicate, while being interrogated at the USJ8 police station in Subang Jaya.
A post-mortem report stated Kugan died of fluid in the lungs but a second post-mortem has since been performed. Police are awaiting the results of this examination before submitting the investigation papers to Attorney-General Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail, who had classified the case as murder.

Eleven policemen from the station were transferred to the Selangor police headquarters and put on desk duty pending the results of the investigation.

On the report in Seremban, Osman said police sent the alleged victim for a full medical check-up. The initial doctor's report confirmed the man had bruises in the areas he claimed he was hit.

He said police had requested a second medical examination to determine if the bruises were sustained recently. "We will have to wait until June to get the report."

Osman said the man had also told police that he was involved in an accident two years ago and had sustained injuries to his neck and leg.

He was released on police bail on Wednesday pending investigations.

Osman said police would investigate the allegations thoroughly and take action against the four policemen if they had abused the man.- New Straits Times, 1/2/2009, Cops hit me, robbery suspect claims