Foreigner loses appeal against death sentence for murder

KOTA KINABALU: A foreigner’s appeal to have his conviction and death sentence set aside for murdering a foreman was yesterday dismissed by the Court of Appeal.

The three-member bench chaired by Justice Tan Sri Idrus Harun, who sat with Puan Sri Dato’ Zaleha Yusof and Dato’ Rhodzariah Bujang, unanimously affirmed Baharudin @ Kadir Abu Nawas’ conviction and sentence as they held that there was no merit in his appeal.

The appellant was found guilty by the High Court and sentenced him to death by hanging for killing the 47-year-old victim at a workers’ quarters in Ulu Segama, Lahad Datu on November 14, 2014.

He was charged under Section 302 of the Penal Code, which provides for the mandatory death sentence upon conviction.

Government-assigned counsel Abdul Ghani Zelika for the appellant submitted that the High Court had failed to consider the appellant’s caution statement as the trial judge had made no reference to the said document which stated the events and particulars from the appellant’s version.

The counsel also argued that the High Court had made an error on fact whereby in the trial, the prosecution did not call one witness known as Akbar and the other four workers as all of them had been deported to their country of origin.

Abdul Ghani contended that the prosecution should have tendered the said persons’ recorded statements but they did not do so.

In reply, deputy public prosecutor Muhamad Azmi Mashud rebutted that the High Court judge did not cover as a whole at the appellant’s statement but the trial judge had already evaluated the evidence to be same and tallied.

The prosecution also argued that Akbar and the four workers were not called to testify as an inquiry had been conducted on the eye-witness and if the said persons were available, their evidence would only support the narrative of the prosecution witnesses.

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