KOTA KINABALU: A 29-year-old man was yesterday freed of an armed gang robbery charge by the Sessions Court here.
Arbee Erwyn Slaiman could hardly contain his joy when Judge Azreena Aziz discharged and acquitted him of the allegation when his case came up for ruling at the end of trial.
In delivering the verdict, Azreena held that the prosecution had failed to prove a case beyond reasonable doubt against Arbee.
During the trial, which commenced on May 11, the prosecution produced a total of five witnesses while the defence called three witnesses to the stand. Arbee, who was unrepresented throughout the course of the trial, had also testified under oath and subjected himself to cross-examination by the prosecution.
On Dec 3, 2014, Arbee claimed trial against the allegation of robbing one Razmin Khan, 46, whilst armed with a machete in a sundry shop along Jalan Kiansom in Inanam on Oct 4 of the same year at around 8.30am.
Arbee was jointly charged with his supposedly co-accused Mizbal Arad, 37, who was last year jailed for eight years and given two strokes of the cane after he admitted to committing the offence. The indictment, under Section 395/397 of the Penal Code, provides for a maximum jail term of 20 years and whipping, upon conviction.
According to the facts of the case, Arbee supposedly entered the shop with Mizbal, pointed the machete at Razmin and ordered the latter to surrender money and items from the shop. Razmin, fearing that the men would harm him, gave them what they asked for before they fled the scene. The court heard that the victim was robbed of two mobile phones, RM4,000, reload coupons worth RM1,000 and several boxes of cigarettes.
Deputy public prosecutor Husna Abdul Halim prosecuted while counsel Michelle Usman stepped in for Arbee during the submission stage of the case.