Monday, September 28

Keningau man freed from drug trafficking charge

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KOTA KINABALU: A salesman from Keningau, charged with trafficking in ketamine and syabu three years ago, was freed by the High Court here yesterday.

Justice Chew Soo Ho acquitted and discharged Chin Yee Yong @ Ah Hiung, 33, without calling for his defence, as he ruled that the prosecution had failed to establish a prima facie case against the man.

“I have made a maximum evaluation of the evidence adduced by the prosecution and I find it was unsafe to convict Chin,” he held in his reserved judgment.

Chin, who was defended by counsel Ram Singh, was alleged to have trafficked in 4,383 grams of ketamine and 2,559 grams of syabu outside the arrival hall of the Kota Kinabalu International Airport at about 10.40pm on December 12, 2011.

The offence was framed under Section 39B (1) (a) of the Dangerous Drugs Act 1952, which carries the mandatory death sentence, upon conviction.

The trial judge had held, among others, that there was a discrepancy as to the colours of the drugs and also the unexplained evidence by the chemist on the colour of the drug. He further ruled that in the evidence the weight of the drugs by the chemist as stated in the chemist report indicated a gross weight of 10,698 grams but under cross-examination, the chemist testified that the actual net weight of the drugs was 10,700.5 grams. He held that no explanation was offered as to the difference of 2.5 grams in the weight of the drugs which the chemist had analyzed.

The prosecution had called 13 witnesses to testify against Chin since the trial commenced on March 26 this year after the case was first brought to the court on December 23, 2011.

Later, outside the court, Chin expressed his happiness with the court’s decision and thanked his counsel Ram for obtaining his acquittal and discharge.

Counsel YS Lo assisted Ram during the trial.