Monday, November 15, 2010

Malaysia :- Death Penalty News - October 2010

* Some (not all) death penalty news reports involving Malaysia.

Alor Setar
24 October 2010
Tractor driver sent to the gallows for drug trafficking
A tractor driver was sentenced to death by the High Court here today after he was found guilty of trafficking in 2,700.01gm of cannabis five years ago.
Justice Datuk Zamani A. Rahim handed down the sentence on Tamim Ansari Abdul Hamid after finding that the defence had failed to raise any reasonable doubts on the prosecution's case.
Tamim Ansari, 26, from Sanglang, near Jitra, was charged with trafficking in the drug in front of the exit to the Darul Aman Stadium at 10.45pm on May 10, 2005.
Deputy public prosecutor Ana Rozana Mohd Nor prosecuted, while lawyer Mohd Nizan Azdahari represented Tamim Ansari.

(Source: Bernama)


26 October 2010
Woman escapes gallows in baby-in-drain case
A 23-year-old woman escaped the gallows after her murder charge was reduced to concealment of birth by secret disposal of her baby’s body.   Menti Muda from Kampung Mawang, Simunjan was tentatively charged under Section 302 of the Penal Code which carries a mandatory death sentence upon conviction.
The key prosecutor Stella Augustine Druce applied to drop the tentative charge and was allowed by the magistrates’ court.
Concealment of birth comes under Section 318 of the Penal Code which carries a maximum penalty of two years’ imprisonment or with fine or both upon conviction.
Yesterday, she appeared before Magistrate Syafiza Abdul Razak Tready who released her on RM3,000 cash bail, pending trial on Jan 26 and 27 next year.
However, the plea was yet to be made as she had to seek her parents’ advice first.
Menti who worked as a waitress at a coffee shop in Stutong allegedly committed the offence between 12.30 and 2.30am in March this year.
The baby was found inside a monsoon drain at Stutong. The accused was arrested a day after the baby’s body was found in the drain as highlighted in the media.
Her accomplice, who is said to be her boyfriend, is still at large. He was believed to be a construction worker staying near Stutong.
Inspector Ahmad Alias prosecuted and Menti was not represented by any lawyer.

(Source: Borneo Post)


28 October 2010   Two Friends Sentenced to Death for Drug Trafficking
The High Court here today sentenced a couple to death after they were found guilty of trafficking in 8,869gm of cannabis at Equatorial Hotel two years ago.
Justice Datuk Ahmadi Asnawi handed down the sentence after finding that the prosecution had succeeded in establishing the case beyond reasonable doubts.
Darwis Zaihani, an unemployed from Sungai Penchala, Selangor, and salesgirl Ye Shau Pei, from Raub, Pahang, were charged with trafficking in the drug at the car park of the hotel at about 5.30pm on Dec 14, 2008.
Darwis, 23, and Ye, 35, showed no reaction when the judge handed down thesentence. Deputy public prosecutor Shahidani Abd Aziz prosecuted while lawyers R. Yuganathan and C.W.Chan represented Darwis and Ye, respectively.
Met by reporters outside the court, Yuganatahn and Chan said they would file an appeal.

(Source: Bernama)


Alor Setar
28 October 2010
Two Escaped Gallows, But One Sent to Prison for Drug Possession
Two men who were charged with drug trafficking escaped the gallows Thursday after the High Court here acquitted and discharged one of them of the charge and amended the charge of the other.
The two men, Bakri Abdul Rahim, 51, and Othman Puteh, 58, were initially charged with trafficking in 91,503gm of cannabis at an unnumbered house in Sungai Baru, in the district of Kuala Muda about 10.30am on Aug 7, 2008.
The offence, under Section 39B of the Dangerous Act, carries the mandatory death sentence upon conviction.
Justice Datuk Zamani A. Rahim ordered Othman to be acquitted and discharged after finding that the prosecution has failed to establish a prima facie case against him.
In the case of Bakri, Zamani amended the charge to that of drug possession and sentenced him to 15 years jail to be served from the date of arrest on Aug, 2008.
“But, fate is on your side because your age has exceeded 50 and is exempted from whipping,” he added.
Earlier, lawyer Chong Seng Ming, who represented Bakri, said his client who had no previous record, had pleaded guilty and was remorse.
Both Othman and Bakri were acquitted and discharged on a second charge with possessing dangerous drug, comprising 36.4 litres of liquid and 26.28kg of leaves which contained Mitragynine at the same place, date and time.
Zamani acquitted them on grounds that the prosecution had failed to prove prima facie case against Othman and Bakri.
Deputy public Prosecutor Ahmad Zakhi Mohd Daud prosecuted.

(Source: Bernama)


29 October 2010
Ombudsman assists Georgian citizens detained in Malaysia to avoid death penalty
Giorge Tugushi, Public Defender of Georgia joined the process of saving two women citizens of Georgia, detained in Malaysia with large quantities of drugs, from a death penalty.
The Ombudsman intends to ask for help from international organizations.
Regarding two Georgian citizens detained in Malaysia, the Georgian Foreign Ministry will know about their names, presumedly, today. An interpreter is meeting with them today.
The detainees have some problems with the testimony because of the language barrier.
Malaysia is not a member of any international conventions, especially those relating to human rights.
A People's Advocate will seek to extradite the detainees to Georgia. Tugushi said that the death penalty is not acceptable for punishment, regardless of the crime committed by a person.

"The death penalty is condemned by the Council of Europe and other international organizations. First, death penalty is often committed followed by a critique. I think that it must not be done. We need support," Tugushi said.

Two Georgian citizens were detained in Malaysia with a large quantity of drugs on Monday. According to the Malaysian law, they can face the death penalty.

(Source: Trend News - Azerbaijan)


30 October 2010   Teen gets death for killing shopkeeper over noodles
A 60-year-old shopkeeper who refused to sell a pack of instant noodles to an 18-year-old youth paid with his life when the youth returned the next day and stabbed him to death.
High Court judicial commissioner Ahmad Nasfy Yasin sentenced the teenager Tha­morhran Ramarao to death.
He said that claims by the defence that the teenager was drunk at the time of the incident and had not intended to kill the victim Mohammad Jabrullah Abdul Wahab were an afterthought.
The accused, who was a mechanic and an only child, had turned 18 only a month earlier.
Thamorhran was charged together with welder Chandramogan Govindasamy, who was 21 at the time of the incident under Section 302 of the Penal Code read together with section 34 of the same Code.
They allegedly committed the offence at Pasaraya Jayamas, Jln Nilam 8, Taman Jayamas near here on July 31 at 10.45pm.
Ahmad Nasfy acquitted Chan­dramogan as the defence had raised a reasonable doubt over his involvement in the murder.
According to the statement of the facts, Thamorhran went to the store the night before the incident as it was about to close and asked Mohammad Jabrullah for a packet of Maggi. However, the victim refused and told him to return the next day.
Thamorhran went back the next day with Chandramogan and repeatedly stabbed Mohammad Jabrullah as his son Mohamad Ghazali, 21, watched.
Ahmad Nasfy said the court could not accept a claim by the counsel for the accused S. Pushpanathan that Mohammad Jabrullah may have died due to a heart ailment as he died a day after being admitted to the hospital.

(Source: Star - Malaysia)


18 October 2010
No place for death penalty in a civil society
I would like to bring up the following issues on capital punishment.
1.        Is the justice system fool-proof and would anyone be wrongly convicted? It's obvious no system is foolproof and to wrongly convict an individual and send him to the gallows is one person too many.
Someone argued previously that wrongly convicting an individual and sending that person to the gallows is no different from wrongly convicting that person and sending him to jail as one could not 'reimburse' the jail time served by the wrongly convicted individual.
Arguments along this line ignores the seriousness of taking away a person's life.
2.        Is capital punishment an effective deterrent?
Well, I think capital punishment can be a deterrent for the average person on the street. But I seriously doubt if capital punishment is an effective deterrent for hardcore criminals and murderers.
3.        Is it right for society to take away an individual's life as a form of punishment?
No, I don't think society has a moral or religious right to take another person's life, no matter how heinous the crime. To take an individual's life will be no different from behaving like that same criminal society is prosecuting.
But society has a right and a duty to protect itself from criminals by incarcerating them, for life if need be.

Taking into account just issue number one above, Malaysia must abolish capital punishment. There is no place for capital punishment in a civil society.
(By Cheah Hooi Giam)

(Source: Malaysiakini)


Kota Kinabalu
20 October 2010
Local youth faces death sentence for murder
A local youth is facing the mandatory death sentence if found guilty of murdering a 20-year-old man eight months ago.
High Court Judicial Commissioner Stephen Chung yesterday reserved Jan 24 to 28 next year for the trial of Muhammad Mat Salleh who is defended by assigned counsel Hamid Ismail.
The 19-year-old accused from Papar allegedly murdered Kelly Cristine at a family recreation centre in Papar at 3.15pm on Feb 7.
The alleged offence comes under Section 302 of the Penal Code which provides for mandatory death penalty.
The court ordered the accused to be held in custody under Section 259 of the Criminal Procedure Code pending his trial as the alleged offence is not bailable.
Deputy Public Prosecutor Mohamad Zairi Zainal Abidin told the court that the prosecution would be calling 25 witnesses to testify against Muhammad.

(Source: Borneo Post)

Shah Alam
23 October 2010
Nigerian drug trafficker sentenced to death
A Nigerian footballer-turned-drug trafficker was sentenced to death by the High Court here yesterday, after he was found guilty of trafficking in 530.14 grammes of heroin in Puchong last year.
Justice Datuk Abdul Alim Abdullah said at the end of defence case, Danny Phiri, 25, had failed to raise any reasonable doubt on the prosecution case.
He was charged with drug trafficking under Section 39B(1)(a) of the Dangerous Drug Act 1952, which carries the mandatory death sentence upon conviction.
He had committed the offence at an apartment unit of Block A-3A-08, Koi Tropikana, 3rd mile Jalan Puchong, Puchong at 12.35am on May 15, last year.
According to the facts of the case, the police, acting on a tip-off, had forced their way into the apartment unit and detained the accused and his Filipina girlfriend.
In the room, the police seized a plastic bag containing 530 grammes of heroin, and found 0.14 grammes of heroin hidden inside a photo frame.
The court was told that Phiry was in Malaysia since 2008, looking for a suitable soccer club.
However, he was lured by another Nigerian into becoming a member of a drug trafficking syndicate.
During the trial, a 24-year-old Filipina turned crown witness and testified against her boyfriend.
Deputy public prosecutor Alfred Egin appeared for the prosecution.
(Source: Borneo Post)


Kuala Lumpur
19 October 2010
Filipina Escapes Hangman’s Noose
A 47-year-old mother from the Philippines escaped the gallows today after a High Court judge here amended the drug traficking charge to possession after ruling that the prosecution has failed to establish a prima facie case on the initial charge.
Elisa Sans Gabriel Resurreccion, 47, of Binagonan, Manila, was sentenced to eight years jail from the day of her arrest after she pleaded guilty to the amended charge. She was arrested on Aug 28, 2009.
Trial judge Datuk Mohd Sofian Abd Razak said at the end of the prosecution''s case that evidence adduced through nine prosecution witnesses were more towards the offence committed under Section 39A(2) of the Dangerous Drugs Act 1952 which carries a minimum five years'' jail and whipping.
Under the amended charge, she was accused with possession of 1,126.9 gram of cocaine at Puduraya bus terminal here at about 8.50am on Aug 28, 2009.
In his decision, Mohd Sofian said that the court had given Resurreccion a second chance to redeem herself and told her not to be involved with a similar offence in the future.
He said the court also took into consideration that Resurreccion was a single mother with four children aged between 19 to 25, while her father was suffering from heart complication.
"You are lucky to escape from harsh punishment under this Act where women are exempted from whipping," Mohd Sofian said.
According to the facts of the case, police acting on a tip-off had trailed Resurreccion from the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) to Puduraya bus terminal.
She was arrested when she showed up to collect her luggage from a locker where police found 23 pieces of blouses which police suspected were filled with drugs.
A chemist's report confirmed that the drug was cocaine and weighed 1,126.9 grams.
In his mitigation, court-appointed counsel N. Subramaniyan told the court that the accused used to work as a nanny in Taiwan to support her family and she was befriended by another woman from her country before ending up with a drug syndicate.
Deputy public prosecutor Lokman Kasim contended that the court should take into account the public interest rather than the interest of the accused in sentencing, since the case involved a substantial amount of drugs.

(Source: Bernama) 

Shah Alam
12 October 2010
It*s the Gallows for Guard Who Trafficked 25.6Kgs of Ganja
The High Court here today handed a guard the death sentence after finding him guilty of having trafficked 25.6 kilogrammes of ganja (cannabis), two years ago.
Judge Datuk Wira Mohtarudin Baki handed down the sentence to Rosnan Non, 46 after he was satisfied that the defence had failed to raise any reasonable doubts in the prosecution''s case.
In his brief judgement, Mohtarudin said the defence relied merely on denial and conjecture.
"Failure to call a witness who the accused claimed had lent him the van the narcotic was found, did not in any way support the defence''s case," he said.
Rosnan was caught with the drugs in a Nissan Serena Van with registration number WFY 1459 at lot number 3473-Q, Jalan Bukit Badak, Kampung Melayu Subang, Subang near here at 11.45pm on Oct 18, 2008.
Drug traffickers face the mandatory death sentence, if convicted.
The prosecution was conducted by Deputy Public Prosecutor Rosidah Abu Bakar while Rosnan was represented by counsel Rosli Zain.
The prosecution produced nine witnesses during the course of the trial while the defence two, including the accused.

(Source: Bernama)


15 October 2010
Five Escape the Gallows
The High Court here today acquitted and discharged three men and two women of trafficking in cannabis weighing 27,981.03 grammes, two years ago.
Judge Datuk Mariana Yahya made the decision after finding the prosecution had failed to prove a prima facie case against barber Azli Che Lah, 46, housewife Zailani Husin, 38, pensioner Mijan Jusoh, 66, taxi driver Che Mat Che Mahmood 57, all from Pasir Mas, Kelantan and a Thai woman identified only as Miss Nanthiya, 20.
They were alleged to have committed the offence at the parking lot of Swiss Garden Resort & Spa, located at Kilometre 12, Jalan Kuantan-Kemaman near here at 2pm on July 5, 20008.
Drug trafficking is a capital offence.
In her judgement, Mariana said several doubts were raised in the prosecution''s case among them the type of drug seized, the issue of supervision and control when the seized drugs were sent for analysis by the Chemistry Department and the actual weight of the seizure.
"The prosecution also failed to link the accused with the case material because there was not a single element that showed who owned or was in control of the drugs seized," she said, adding that the prosecution''s witnesses were also not very clear about this.
"The fact that the type of drugs seized could not be identified, alone proved fatal to the prosecution's case," she added.
The prosecution was conducted by deputy public prosecutor Ahmad Fadhli Mahmud while the accused were represented by counsel Mohd Ridzuan Muhamad, Wan Harun Wan Hassan, Wan Jawahir Wan Hassan and Mohd Rosli Yusof.

(Source: Bernama)


13 October 2010
Divided Over the Death Penalty
South-east Asian neighbours Malaysia and Singapore have had several political spats over the years, including long-running arguments over water supply and a territorial dispute over the Pedra Branca islets at the eastern entrance to the Straits of Singapore.

But it is a more emotionally-charged issue 每 the state- sanctioned snuffing of a human life 每 that is at the centre of a new storm brewing between the two countries, as activists rallying for the death of capital punishment rush to save the life of Yong Vui Kong, a 22-year-old Malaysian on death row in Singapore.

A group of Malaysian anti-death penalty campaigners protested outside the Singapore High Commission in Malaysia*s capital Kuala Lumpur on Aug. 10, submitting a memorandum to protest the denial of due process to Yong, who was just 18 when he was arrested in Singapore in 2007 for trafficking 47 grammes of heroin.

One member of the group, outspoken Malaysian Member of Parliament S Manickavasagam, said they would place a coffin outside the Singapore High Commission if Yong is hanged.

"We*re not talking about a political feud that doesn*t make sense to anyone but the Singapore and Malaysia governments," says a Singaporean lawyer, Joshua, who declined to be identified in full. "We*re talking about a human life, and we should be more worried if there were no emotions, no public outcry."

A 2005 survey by state-controlled newspaper &The Straits Times* revealed that some 96 percent of Singaporeans supported the use of the death penalty, which is mandatory in cases of trafficking of more than 30 grammes of heroin. Possession of drugs to unlawful discharge of arms to murder are in the range of offences covered by capital punishment under the Penal Code.

But slowly, support for its abolition appears to be on the increase, with activists using online media like blogs and videos posted on YouTube and Vimeo to circumvent the strict laws on public protests and stranglehold of information by the state-run press.

The Singapore Anti-Death Penalty Campaign (SADPC), an independent group started in 2005 that calls for the abolition of the death penalty, has more than 1,400 members in its group on Facebook, a popular social networking website.

A heart-wrenching scene on Aug. 24, of Yong*s family kneeling outside the Istana in Singapore after they delivered a petition with 109,346 signatures, begging President S R Nathan to spare the life of the young man, was watched by thousands worldwide.

But in a strange turn of events, Yong*s lawyer was told that "the President has no discretion under the Constitution# to grant pardons."

"The power to do so rests solely with the Cabinet," High Court Judge Steven Chong told Yong*s lawyer M Ravi, a leading human rights activist here, who argues that comments made by Singapore*s law minister had prejudiced and compromised Yong*s constitutional right to an appeal for clemency.

"Yong Vui Kong is young. But if we say, &We let you go*, what is the signal we are sending?" Law Minister K Shanmugam told a public forum on May 9, according to local media reports. "We are sending a signal to all the drug barons out there: Just make sure you choose a victim who is young, or a mother of a young child, and use them as the people who carry the drugs into Singapore," Shanmugam said.

"(Yong*s campaign) has been quite a journey and we have seen the campaign growing beyond our shores," said the SADPC in an Oct. 10 statement to mark the World Day Against the Death Penalty.

"The support we have received from our Malaysian colleagues and their network is motivating and we will definitely continue our campaign efforts to keep Yong Vui Kong alive and to advocate for a second chance," it added.

Indeed, the sentiment against capital punishment in this tiny but affluent island-state pales in comparison to the waves generated by neighbouring Malaysia. The &Save Yong Vui Kong!* page on Facebook has gathered close to 21,000 supporters.

According to his lawyer, Yong has turned over a new leaf in the three years he has spent in prison.

Once a wayward teenager, Yong has immersed himself in Buddhism, shaved his head, and now teaches his fellow prisoners about Buddhist principles. The Chinese-speaking youth has also learnt to speak Malay and English while in prison, and wants to be an advocate against drug abuse, Ravi added.

Meantime, while the battle rages on to save Yong from the gallows, Malaysian activists in August asked the Singapore government to admit that it wrongfully executed 23-year-old Malaysian Vignes Mourthi in 2003.

The uproar follows new information revealed in a book launched in June, &Once a Jolly Hangman: Singapore Justice in the Dock* by British writer Alan Shadrake, which includes interviews with human rights activists, lawyers, former police officers, and the former chief executioner at Singapore's Changi Prison.

According to Shadrake*s book, Mourthi was convicted based on a handwritten transcript of a conversation he had with an undercover officer. But the fact that the officer was facing allegations of rape, sodomy and bribery at the time he gave the evidence 每 and subsequently jailed for 15 months for bribery 每 was kept from the court.

"Singapore has murdered an innocent person in cold blood," said N Surendran of Malaysian group Lawyers for Liberty.

But the Singapore attorney general's office says the book casts doubt on the impartiality, integrity and independence of the country's judiciary, and has arrested the 75-year-old author on charges of contempt of court and criminal defamation. He is out on bail.

"I don*t think the death penalty will be abolished soon, but the mandatory death penalty may go first," Shadrake told IPS days ahead of his Supreme Court hearing on Oct. 18.

(Source: IPS)


12 October 2010
Drug Pair Facing Indonesian Death Penalty &Tricked*
A Malaysian couple facing the death penalty for allegedly smuggling 44 kilograms of crystal methamphetamine into Indonesia told a court on Tuesday that they had been framed by local authorities.

Lim Fong Yee, aka Connie Lim, and Lee Chee Hen were presenting their defense at the South Jakarta District Court, four days after prosecutors demanded they receive the death sentence.

Prosecutors said the shabu-shabu, or crystal meth, was worth Rp 96 billion ($10.75 million).

Defence lawyer Ernanto Sudarno told the court that his clients had been fooled into picking up an opened package.

※The package was unsealed when my clients picked it up at the Aramex cargo transportation office. Witnesses have confirmed this,§ Ernanto said.

The couple said they had been on holiday in Indonesia and checking out business opportunities during Chinese New Year Lunar festivities when they received a phone call to pick up a package at the transportation office.

※They did not know the package contained shabu,§ Ernanto said, as Lim, who was seated next to her boyfriend, wept.

Speaking after the hearing, the lawyer said the package was sent from Malaysia by a man named Kim Hong and had been addressed to Muhammad Aziz. Both have been declared fugitives by Indonesian authorities.

※The cargo company had x-rayed the package and knew it contained shabu. So it called in the authorities and they waited for the person who would pick it up,§ Ernanto said.

Lim picked up the package, while her boyfriend waited in a car.

※Firstly she did not have a receipt to claim the package but the company allowed her to take it,§ the attorney said.

※Prosecutors accused her of a sinister conspiracy because she carried the package and someone else was waiting for her. That*s not true because she couldn*t carry a package weighing 44 kg. It was delivered to the car by a law enforcer.

※Since authorities failed to capture the true culprits, namely the sender and the expected recipient, my clients were charged and face the maximum punishment.§

The verdict is expected today.

(Source: Jakarta Globe)
13 October 2010
Malaysian Drug Pair Spared Death But Faces a Long Time Behind Bars
A Malaysian couple on Wednesday escaped the death sentence but were handed long jail terms after a court found them guilty of smuggling 44 kilograms of crystal methamphetamine into Indonesia.

Judges at the South Jakarta District Court jailed Lim Fong Yee a.k.a Connie Lim, 30, to 20 years in jail for being an accessory in the crime while her boyfriend, Lee Chee Hen, 44, was given a life sentence.

※The two defendants have been convincingly proven guilty of illegally importing narcotics weighing more than 5 grams,§ presiding judge Yonisman said.

※As for the first defendant [Lim], she only followed orders from the second defendant to pick up the packages.§

The two were also fined Rp1.5 billion ($168,000) each.

※Their crime is against the government*s tough antinarcotic program and could endanger the young generation of this country,§ the judge said.

Lim, from Johor, and Lee, from Pahang, declined to comment and their lawyer, Ernanto Sudarno, said he would decide in the next week whether to appeal.

Ernanto argued that the verdict was flawed, saying ※the point is whether or not the defendants own the drug, and in my opinion the court has failed to prove that.§

The judge dismissed Lee*s defense that the four packages, each containing 11 kilograms of crystal methamphetamine, were sent by a man in Malaysia named Kim Hong to a man named Muhammad Aziz in Indonesia.

※The name of the recipient Muhammad Aziz and his phone number was on the packages. Why wouldn*t the sender call the recipient to pick up the packages instead of asking the second defendant to do so?§ the judge said.

On Tuesday, the prosecution sought the death penalty as the defendants presented their cases and pleaded not guilty.

※I have a legal job and a legal income source, so I don*t need to sell drugs to make a living,§ Lim said.

Lee argued that he knew nothing at all about the content of the packages.

Lim and Lee were arrested on Jalan Wolter Mongonsidi, South Jakarta, on March 9.

The National Anti-Narcotic Agency (BNN) claimed the two attempted to bribe officials with Rp 10 billion each and then raised the amount to Rp20 billion, but the offer was rejected.
(Source: Jakarta Globe) 
George Town
4 October 2010
Duo sentenced to hang for drug trafficking
The Penang High Court here today sentenced two friends to death after they were found guilty of trafficking 50.3 grammes of heroin and monocetylmorphines weighing 7.4 grammes, in February 2007.
Judge Normala Salim in her judgement said the prosecution had proved their case against P.Pathmanathan, 28, a welder and Bernard Louga Edward, 29, a goat breeder, beyond all reasonable doubt.
The duo were caught with the drugs at the Juru rest centre along the North-South Highway at 11.30pm on Feb 26, 2007.
Drug tracking carries capital punishment.
Pathmanathan was represented by counsel Datuk Haniff Hashim while Bernard Louga by counsel R.S.N Rayer.
Deputy public prosecutors Suhaimi Ibrahim and G Jaya Prem prosecuted.

(Source: Bernama)


Shah Alam
5 October 2010
Ex-Policeman Gets Death For Murder Of Boy And Maid
A former police constable was sentenced to death by the High Court here today after he was found guilty of murdering a two-year old boy and his maid seven years ago.

Justice Mohd Yazid Mustafa handed down the sentence after finding that the prosecution, represented by deputy public prosecutor Mohd Nordin Ismail, had succeeded in establishing the case beyond reasonable doubt.

Mohd Nahar Abu Bakar, 34, who was in the dock, showed no reaction when the judge handed down the judgment. He was represented by lawyer Amir Khusyairi Mohd Tanusi.

Mohd Nahar, previously attached to the Kampung Baru police station, Manjung, Perak, was charged with murdering two-year-old Muhammad Nurosama Shohimi, whose father is former Klang Umno division secretary Shohimi Shafie, at his maid's house at No: 19, 5th Floor, Flat Cempaka, Bandar Baru Klang, Klang, about 1pm on Dec 30, 2003.

He was also charged with murdering the maid, Siti Rohana Baharom, 34, at the same place, time and date.

Mohd Nahar, who was arrested on Oct 16 last year, was charged under Section 302 of the Penal Code which carried the mandatory death sentence upon conviction.

In his judgment, Mohd Yazid said that after studying evidence in the case, it was found that Mohd Nahar did not deny that he went to Siti Rohana's house with Normah Jantan, the 13th prosecution witness, on the day of the incident.

He said he was satisfied that Mohd Nahar was the person who entered Siti Rohana's flat and then went to his car and ordered Normah to start the engine before going up to Siti Rohana's flat again.

"I am also satisfied that the accused went to the back of the car and took a rambo knife from the car boot and went up again to the flat.

"I am satisfied that the knife belonged to the accused and in Siti Rohana's flat, the accused was the one who stabbed the two victims," he added.

He said even the testimony by the accused did not raise any reasonable doubts on the prosecution's case.

Whatmore, there was a witness who saw him stabbing the victims before fleeing the scene, he added.

Mohd Yazid said he found that Mohd Nahar had intention to kill the victims when he stabbed them and this was confirmed by a pathologist that the victims were stabbed many times.

"Mens rea (guilty mind) of the accused at that particular time was to kill both the victims and therefore, the accused is found guilty of both charges and sentenced to death by hanging," he added.

Meanwhile, Shohimi, who were at the court with wife, Hamidah Harun, and other family members, when met by reporters outside the court, said he accepted his son's death and grateful that justice had been done with the sentence handed down by the court on the murderer.

(Source: Bernama)

8 October 2010
Ex-Policeman Files Review Of Death Sentence
An ex-policeman on Death Row is seeking the Federal Court to free him on the grounds that his conviction and death sentence cannot stand because the court judgments were written in English.

Harcharan Singh a/l Piara Singh has filed an application at the Federal Court registry here through legal firm Messrs Karpal Singh & Company, seeking the court to review the Federal Court previous panel's decision which had convicted and sentenced him to death for murder.

The notice of motion, which was attached together with an affidavit of his counsel, Karpal Singh, was filed at 4pm Friday.

Karpal Singh averred in his affidavit that there was serious contravention of Section 8 of the National Language Act which came into force on July 1 1971, which stated that proceedings in all courts in the country must be in the national language.

He said all proceedings must include judgment of the court, and must be mandatorily written in the national language.

Karpal Singh said Harcharan's conviction and death sentence could not be supported in law and ought to be set aside because the judgments of the High Court, Court of Appeal and the Federal Court were written in the English language, leading to the entire proceedings in those courts, being null and void.

The 46-year-old former police lance corporal was sent back to Death Row when the Federal Court on Sept 9, last year reversed his acquittal for murdering a Pakistani businessman, 14 years ago, in a case said to involve a 'love triangle'.

He was previously freed for nearly five years when the Court of Appeal overturned the High Court conviction but was back to face the gallows after the Federal Court allowed the prosecution's appeal.

On Nov 15, 2000, the Shah Alam High Court convicted Harcharan and his cousin Jasber Singh a/l Gurdial singh of murdering Shaikh Abdul Rub Samdani Siddiqi, at a house in Taman Desa Aman, Sungai Buloh, Selangor at 10.30pm on March 1, 1996.

However, after being freed by the Court of Appeal, Jasber, 40, an Indian national, returned to India. The prosecution also appealed against Jasber's acquittal but was unable to serve the notice on him.

(Source: Bernama)

Shah Alam
8 October 2010
Coconut Juice Seller Sent to the Gallows for Drug Trafficking
A coconut juice seller was sentenced to death by the High Court here today after he was found guilty of trafficking in eight packets of compressed cannabis, weighing 8,183.8gm, 10 years ago.
Justice Datuk Mohd Zaki Md Yasin handed down the sentence after finding that Nadzari Awang Hamat had failed to raise reasonable doubts against the prosecution''s case.
The defence by the accused were merely denial, he added.
Nadzari, 37, was charged with committing the offence at Medan Selera Puchong Perdana, Puchong near here, about 1.30pm on June 8, 2000.
Deputy public prosecutor Alfred Egin prosecuted, while Nadzari was represented by lawyer James George.

(Source: Bernama)


3, including 16 year old, shot dead by police

Press Release - 15 November 2010
Fatal shooting of 3 persons including a 16-year-old boy in Glenmarie

Lawyers for Liberty is gravely concerned over the shooting to death of three alleged suspects by police during the early hours of Saturday 13th November 2010 at Glenmarie, Selangor.

The dead were Mohd Shamil Hafiz Shafie, 16, Mohd Khairul Nizam Tuah, 20, and Mohd Hanafi Omar, 22. Although one of the dead persons was a sixteen year old boy, acting Selangor police chief Datuk A.Thaiveegan has made the incredible claim that all the dead were "seasoned criminals".

The police allege that the dead suspects were part of a gang known as "Geng Minyak" which preyed on petrol stations. They further allege that the suspects when cornered rushed at the police with machetes and that the police shot them all dead in self-defense. We find this story by the police to be quite unbelievable.

If the suspects were only armed with machetes and not firearms, why was it necessary to shoot all of them dead? Were any warning shots fired? It beggars belief that men armed with machetes would rush into a hail of bullets.

We note that there is disturbing similarity in the justification given out by police after almost every fatal police shooting in recent memory. In almost all cases, police claim that the suspects fled and police gave chase. The suspects then attacked police and the police opened fire killing all instantly. No suspect in such situations ever seems to survive. Subsequent to the shooting police claim to have discovered weapons in their vehicle and accuse the dead of being involved in all sorts of crime. Of course, by then none of them can defend themselves.

Even 14 year police shooting victim Aminulrasyid Amzah was accused of being a parang wielding criminal. This standard police version which is trotted out after every shooting is extremely improbable, to say the least. 

It should be noted that international policing norms require that firearms only be discharged to protect life and that clear warnings be given with adequate time to comply. Are these rules being observed and complied with by the Malaysian police force? We seriously doubt it, going by previous cases.

We also note that the authorities continue to refuse to make public even the police guidelines on discharge of firearms. Why all this secrecy?

We call for an immediate independent investigation into this latest shooting, with the findings made public. We reiterate the call for a Royal Commission to investigate all police shootings over the past decade.

We call upon the police force to adhere to international guidelines on policing and to eschew all unlawful actions in the name of crime prevention.   

Fadiah Nadwa Fikri

Friday, November 12, 2010

3rd UN Resolution for Abolition of Death Penalty


November 11, 2010: The UN General Assembly would, for the third time in four years, renew its call for a moratorium on the use of the death penalty under the terms of a draft resolution approved today in the Third Committee (Social, Humanitarian and Cultural) by a recorded vote.

Following on similar resolutions adopted by the Assembly in the 2007 and 2008 sessions, the draft was approved by a vote of 107 in favour to 38 against, with 36 abstentions. 
The resolution garnered more support from UN Member States than the previous resolution in 2007 and 2008, confirming the worldwide trend towards abolition of capital punishment. In 2007, the resolution pro-moratorium was adopted by 104 votes in favour, 54 against with 29 abstentions at the UN General Assembly in New York. In 2008, the resolution was approved by 106 votes in favour, 46 against with 34 abstentions.
Bhutan, Guatemala, Kiribati, Maldives, Mongolia and Togo changed their vote to back the moratorium. In a further sign of support, Afghanistan, Comores, Nigeria, Solomon Islands and Thailand moved from opposition to abstention.
While noting ongoing national debates and regional initiatives on the death penalty, the Third Committee calls upon States to restrict the use of the death penalty, to reduce the number of offences for which it may be imposed, and “to establish a moratorium on executions with a view to abolishing the death penalty”.  States that have abolished the death penalty are meanwhile called upon not to reintroduce it.
Enhancing a similar call included in the previous resolution in 2007, the Third Committee calls upon all Member States to make available relevant information with regard to their use of the death penalty, which can contribute to possible informed and transparent national debates.
Three written amendments to the draft, as well as one oral amendment, were put forward by delegations who said the jurisdiction of Member States was completely disregarded by the draft. All the proposed amendments were rejected by recorded vote.
The most important amendment proposed by Egypt, who said that, under the Charter of the United Nations, the Organization was unauthorized to intervene in matters which are essentially within the domestic jurisdiction of any State, was rejected by a vote of 62 in favour to 79 against, with 31 abstentions. The amendment proposed by Botswana was rejected by a vote of 51 in favour to 81 against, with 33 abstentions.  Singapore’s amendment was rejected by a vote of 58 in favour to 79 against, with 30 abstentions.
The representative of the Bahamas moved an oral amendment to operative paragraph 3 (d), in such a way that it would have the General Assembly call upon States “to consider establishing a moratorium on executions with a view to abolishing the death penalty” (in lieu of “to establish a moratorium on executions with a view to abolishing the death penalty”). The oral amendment offered by Bahamas was rejected by a vote of 54 in favour to 82 against, with 29 abstentions.
The General Assembly is expected to endorse the resolution in its plenary session in December. [ Source: Hands Off Cain]

UNITED NATIONS Nov 11 (Reuters Legal) - A U.N. General Assembly committee issued a resolution calling for a moratorium on the death penalty on Thursday, while the United States joined China, Iran, Sudan, Saudi Arabia and others in opposing the measure.

A vote on the issue took place in the Assembly's Third Committee, a body composed of all 192 U.N. member states that addresses human rights and humanitarian issues. 107 countries supported the nonbinding resolution while 38 other countries opposed it and another 36 abstained. The General Assembly is expected to formally adopt the resolution this December.

"Support for the moratorium has gained ground and the effort was from across the board regionally," said Jose Luis Diaz, who is Amnesty International's representative to the U.N.

Diaz, whose organisation campaigns in favour of the moratorium, said that five countries have changed their position to support the measure since a similar vote took place in 2007. He also noted that a handful of other countries, including Afghanistan and Thailand, chose to abstain rather than vote no as they did last time.
Other opponents to the measure who include Egypt, Singapore and Myanmar typically invoke state sovereignty to defend their position, according to Diaz.

"They point to the laws on their books. To hear them tell it, this is a criminal justice matter, an internal matter that is not a human rights issue."

Singapore introduced one of three amendments to the draft resolution before the vote, aimed at softening the language. The amendment proposed adding that the General Assembly "reaffirms the sovereign right of all countries to develop their own legal systems."

The U.S. delegation voted in favour of the Singaporean amendment, which failed to win sufficient support to be included in the final version.
An Egyptian delegate told the assembly the United Nations should focus on "due process rather than abolition," sentiments echoed by the U.S. delegate.  

The European Union was the driving force behind the resolution, although there were African, Asian and Latin American states that signed on as co-sponsors. Panama, Paraguay, Philippines, East Timor, Rwanda, Mozambique and Russia were among the resolution's sponsors and also voted for it.

The U.N. resolution is titled "Moratorium on the use of the death penalty" and is referenced as document A/C.3/65/L.23/Rev.1.

(Reporting by Louis Charbonneau of Reuters; Additional reporting by Jeff Roberts of Reuters Legal) - Reuters, 12/11/2010, Support grows at U.N. for death penalty halt, U.S. opposed
 Some older relevant posts:-


Nazri reiterates call for abolition of death penalty...

Give Yong Vui Kong a Second Chance - Save him from the hangmen's noose

Malaysian Bar: Abolish the death penalty


Will PR State Sultans start commuting death sentences to prison terms? Abolish Death Penalty

Malaysia should save Yong like it managed to save Umi Azlim (and maybe others) from the death penalty


Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Malaysia :- Death Penalty News (31/10/2010 - 6/11/2010)


3 November 2010

Georgians in Malaysia face Death Penalty

Basic information about the young Georgian women arrested for carrying large amounts of Methamphetamine (a highly addictive central nervous system stimulant) in Malaysia was released exclusively by Real TV on October 29. In a special report the TV station showed the thorough information it had gathered on the detainees through interviewing a number of people connected with them.

26-year-old Babutsa Gordadze detained on Penang Island and 37-year-old Darejan Kokhtashvili detained on Borneo now face the threat of the death penalty according to Malaysian legislation for carrying 10.5 kilos of Methamphetamine (also known as Syabu) worth USD 3 million on the black market.

According to information provided by members of Gordadze’s family, the two women had left for Turkey where they had been met by Gordadze’s husband Eldar Davitiani on October 11. Previously accused for robbery, Gordadze’s parents and sister claimed Davitiani had deceived his wife into traveling to Malaysia for some negotiations.

Kokhtashvili’s daughter also said her mother had gone to Turkey with her friend but she knew nothing about any other plans. According to other sources Kokhtashvili had tried to leave for Turkey several times before and as she was in debt, she sold her apartment in Varketili.

Representatives of the Georgian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) which has been investigating the case refrained from releasing names until the investigation is complete. According to information released by Giorgi Tabatadze, the Director of the Counsel Department of MFA, the two detainees traveled from Istanbul to Morocco to Cameroon then Malaysia and were examined by Malaysian customs officials. Denying the accusation, the Georgian detainees explained they were only visiting Malaysia as tourists and given a bag in which the drugs had been hidden in picture frames.

Preparing to appeal to international organisations, Public Defender of Georgia, Giorgi Tugushi promised he would use every possible resource to help the two women arrested in Malaysia. “Support from Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International will be crucial for us. In light of the fact that Malaysia has no ombudsman’s office we have also decided to contact the Asian Ombudsmen Association for further support,” Tugushi said worrying that Malaysia has not joined the various human rights conventions.

Requesting the extradition of the Georgian women, Tugushi criticised the inhumane act, which according to the European Council and other international organisations is unanimously condemned. “I think if we are supported by international organisations we will achieve the particular purpose. There have been very few cases of capital punishment in the whole world; there have been several precedents in Asian countries but only in the rarest cases,” Tugushi said stressing it would be absolutely unsatisfactory to carry out this method with Georgian citizens.

Georgia has no diplomatic cooperation with Malaysia which makes it difficult for our country to negotiate the extradition of the two arrested women. The trial of Darejan Kokhtashvili and Babutsa Gordadze will be held on November 3.

Since the adoption of the law on capital punishment in Malaysia in 1975 through until 2009 there have been 300 cases of the death penalty being carried out. The women can only avoid capital punishment if they are able to prove they did not purposefully commit the crime and were unaware they were carrying drugs.


(Source: Messenger)


4 November 2010

Former cop loses appeal against death sentence

A former lance corporal has failed in his bid to escape the death penalty after the Court of Appeal upheld his conviction of trafficking cannabis eight years ago.

Court of Appeal Judge Justice Suriyadi Halim Omar, who chaired a three-man panel, dismissed the appeal by Yusri Daud, 42.

Sitting with him were Justices Hasan Lah and Ahmad Maarop.

Yusri, who was attached to the General Operations Force then, was convicted of trafficking 5,756gm of cannabis in front of a pharmacy in Jalan Cheras at 4.15pm on May 9, 2002, by the Shah Alam High Court on April 24 last year.

The Bench made its decision after hearing submissions by lead counsel Karpal Singh. It said it did not need to hear submissions from DPP Murtazadi Amran.

In his submission, Karpal said the trial judge had failed to consider that there were two sets of evidence in the prosecution’s case over the role of the appellant.

On another point, Karpal said a 2007 Federal Court case had ruled that the prosecution must adduce evidence in the trial as per its opening statement.

“Here, the opening address (by prosecution) was entirely different.

“This is a very strange case. Your lordships have to seriously consider this appeal,” he said.

Karpal added there was a serious misdirection at the close of the prosecution’s case when the appellant was called to enter his defence.


(Source: Star - Malaysia)