KUALA TERENGGANU, May 27 — High Court Judge Datuk Zainal Azman Ab Aziz when making his judgement against cafeteria owner Zulkifli Ismail, who was charged with murder, said that one should never take law into his or her own hands, causing the death of another out of anger.
Zainal Azman sentenced Zulkifli to death for murdering Zulkefle Abdullah, 40 and for 14 years imprisonment from the time of his arrest on Dec 7, 2015, for causing grievous hurt to amputee Faizul Awang, 33, after the defence failed to raise reasonable doubt against the prosecution’s case.
In his judgement, Zainal Azman said the accused should not have taken action by himself, and instead, should call the police and let the court decide the appropriate punishment.
“There have been many such incidences in the country. No one should take over the job of the police and the court. Do not be quick to pick up the machete when angry. We should never take charge of the law,” he said.
The accused was charged with committing the offences at an unnumbered house in Jalan Kemaman-Dungun, Kampung Labohan Kerteh, Kemaman, at about 10.30am on Dec 7, 2015.
Prior to the sentencing, Zainal Azman said based on testimonies from 24 prosecution witnesses and the accused, who was called to defend himself, and after hearing the arguments of both sides, he found that the accused was not the victim in this case, despite claims that both victims had tried to rob him.
He said Zulkifli had attacked the two victims who were looking for scrap metal in the vicinity of the crime scene, and if the accused was indeed threatened, he should have contacted the police as he possessed a mobile phone, or called for help from the public, as his house was close to the road.
“The accused, when he arrived at the scene, had come from behind and slashed Faizul on the right side of his chest and then ran and stabbed the chest of the victim who died (Zulkefle). He (Zulkefle) had tried to escape, but the accused not only pursued the victim for up to 70 metres with a machete, but also did not allow the former’s friend (Faizul) to help him.
“Witnesses also stated that the deceased had raised his hands, pleading to the accused to stop hurting him, but was ignored,” he said.
Zainal Azman said the court also found that the stab wounds on the deceased and the second victim was not out of self-defence, as there was no apparent fight or provocation which occurred before the stabbing, and the injuries suffered were serious.
Deputy public prosecutors Ahmad Fadhli Mahmud and Syazwani Zawawi prosecuted, while Zulkifli was represented by counsels Azizul Shariman Mat Yusoff and Ariff Azami Hussein
The murder case had received public attention in the past after it went viral on social media that Zulkifli had acted in self-defence after the two victims in the case had allegedly tried to rob him.
The incident led to the setting up of the ‘Save Zulkifli’ group on Facebook which garnered more than 71,000 followers by publishing various negative statements, criticising the police force for arresting Zulkifli, as well as the ensuing legal procedure. — Bernama