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Judicial CP - September 2001

masthead The Star, Kuala Lumpur, 5 September 2001

Mechanic escapes death sentence

By Chen Mei Ling

KUALA LUMPUR: A mechanic convicted of drug trafficking six years ago, escaped the gallows after having his death sentence reduced to a two-year jail term and three strokes of the rotan by the Court of Appeal yesterday.

The panel - comprising Justices Abdul Hamid Moha-mad, K.C. Vohrah and Faiza Tamby Chik - unanimously allowed Chan Kheng Nam's appeal and ordered him to begin his jail term from the date he was convicted by the Kuantan High Court in 1995.

Chan, 35, who had been behind bars for over 11 years since his arrest on Aug 31, 1990, was sentenced to death on July 29, 1995, after he was found guilty of trafficking in 47.834gm of heroin at Taman Tunas Jaya in Kuantan.

Yesterday, he could have walked out free but instead volunteered to be sent back to the Kajang prison for another 10 days so that he could serve the whipping sentence due to be executed on Sept 13.

Chan was represented by counsel Datuk Sukri Mohamed, while DPP Abdul Rashid Daud appeared for the prosecution.

The panel allowed his request.

In his submission yesterday, Sukri argued that the learned trial judge had committed an error of law before convicting Chan of trafficking in drugs.

He added that there was also not enough evidence for the High Court to convict his client based on the presumption that he had knowledge that what was found in the car's front passenger seat were drugs.

"This finding made by the learned judge was circumstantial. As such, I urge this court to set aside my client's sentence and reduce the charge to one of possession under Section 12(2) of the Dangerous Drug Act 1952," he said.

A total of 3.051gms of the drugs, contained in four small packages, were found in his pocket when the police ambushed him.

The remainder was recovered from the front passenger seat of a car he had borrowed from someone else.

1995-2001 Star Publications (Malaysia) Bhd (Co No 10894-D)

masthead New Straits Times, Kuala Lumpur, 13 September 2001

Convicted drug dealer pleads for lesser jail time

By Satwant Singh

A welder pleaded to the High Court today to reduce his eight year jail term for drug possession because he had a sick child, but instead increase the 10 strokes of the rotan which had been imposed on him.

S. Manimaran, 28, who has two children, said that one of them was suffering from cancer and needed to undergo an operation before the child was seven years old.

Manimaran, who was unrepresented, had appealed against the sentence imposed by the Sessions Court on May 2.

He urged the court to allow his appeal by reducing the jail term, saying the health of his child was very important to him. His wife was unemployed.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Ahmad Bache, however, asked the court to dismiss the appeal, adding that to intervene with the sentence the court must be satisfied that it was manifestly excessive.

Ahmad said Manimaran's jail term was less than half the 20 years' maximum term for the offence.

After hearing Manimaran and Ahmad, High Court judge Datuk Wira Mohd Ghazali Mohd Yusoff dismissed the appeal.

Manimaran pleaded guilty in the Sessions Court to possessing a mixture of 2.78gm of heroin and 18.84gm of monoacetylmorphines in a Proton Wira at Jalan Putra, about 5pm on Feb 11, 1999.

He was sentenced to eight years' jail and ordered to be given 10 strokes, the jail term to begin from his date of arrest on Feb 11, 1999.

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Colin Farrell 2001
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