Death sentence shock for man in retrial
by Anasathia Jenis, email@example.com. Posted on July 4, 2012, Wednesday
KUCHING: An Indian national from Chennai was sentenced to death by hanging yesterday after he was found guilty of trafficking in 5,796g of ketamine about four years ago.
Mohammed Sulaiman Sahulhammed, 35, fell back in shock upon learning of the sentence handed down by High Court Justice Datuk Rhodzariah Bujang following a re-trial.
Rhodzariah convicted Sulaiman under Section 39B of the Dangerous Drugs Act (DDA) 1952 which carries the mandatory death penalty upon conviction.
Ketamine was concealed inside a television set which Customs officers found when checking his luggage that arrived here from Indira Gandhi International Airport.
He was arrested upon his arrival at Kuching International Airport (KIA) at about 10.15am on March 17, 2009.
On May 17, 2010, he was discharged and acquitted in the same High Court without his defence being called.
But on Feb 17, 2012 the prosecution appealed against that decision and a Court of Appeal reversed the decision.
A re-trial at the High Court was ordered by the Court of Appeal.
Yesterday Rhodzariah said there were contradictions in Sulaiman’s evidence during the retrial and he failed to cast doubt on the prosecution’s case.
She said the accused was not credible because he had mentioned in his evidence that the television set was to be given to a person, but in the cautioned statement said he was paid to bring the television set to Kuching as it was faulty and needed to be repaired and returned.
Sulaiman also said he came to Kuching twice but evidence suggested that he came here three times.
The respondent lied that he came to Kuching to look for a job.
“I am therefore moved to impose on him the only sentence accorded by the law – a death penalty,” the judge said.
Royal Malaysian Customs officer DPP Azamuddin Abdul Aziz prosecuted while the accused was represented by Counsel CM Sundram.