PUTRAJAYA, Nov 26 — Two men were spared the gallows today in separate drug trafficking cases but were instead sentenced to jail after the Court of Appeal substituted their charges with that of possession.
Lorry driver Mahadi Abidin, 50, was sentenced to 25 years’ jail for possessing 97.76 grammes of cannabis at a parking area of a nasi kandar restaurant in Taman Sejati, Sungai Petani, Kedah on July 15, 2015. He was spared the rotan as he turned 50 just few weeks ago.
In another case, Mohd Fadli Yusoff, 41, who formerly worked as a mover, was sentenced to 15 years’ jail and 10 strokes of the rotan for possessing 103.44 grammes of methamphetamine at an apartment in Pandan Mewah Heights in Selangor on January 3, 2016.
A three-member bench of the Court of Appeal, comprising Datuk Has Zanah Mehat, Datuk Ahmad Nasfy Yasin and Datuk Che Mohd Ruzima Ghazali heard both cases separately today.
Both Mahadi and Mohd Fadli’s cases were separately tried in different High Court and they were subsequently found guilty for drug trafficking and sentenced to death respectively.
In Mahadi’s case, Justice Has Zanah, who chaired the bench held that his appeal has merits as there was a misdirection in the findings of the High Court judge.
She said Mahadi’s conviction for drug trafficking is not safe but she however held that there was sufficient evidence to convict him on a charge of drug possession.
Has Zanah said Mahadi was sentenced to a longer jail term due to the weight of the drugs and ordered the sentence to start from the date of his arrest on July 15, 2015.
Mahadi’s lawyer S Jayananda Rao argued that the High Court judge had misdirected herself on the burden of proof imposed on his client when calling him to enter his defence.
Deputy public prosecutor Nahra Dollah appeared for the prosecution in Mahadi’s case.
Earlier, the bench sentenced Mohd Fadli to 15 years’ jail and 20 strokes of the rotan after he pleaded guilty to the charge of possessing the drugs. He was ordered to begin his jail term from the date of his arrest on January 3, 2016.
This was after deputy public prosecutor How May Ling informed the court of the Federal Court’s judgment in Alma Nudo Atenza vs Pendakwa Raya (Public Prosecutor) which the court had struck down a provision in the Dangerous Drugs Act 1952 (DDA) that allowed the use of “double presumptions” to secure the conviction of those accused of drug trafficking.
In Mahadi’s case, the High Court convicted him based on double presumptions.
How, however, said there was a case for drug possession against Mahadi based on evidence presented before the court.
Mohd Fadli, who was represented by lawyer V. Saravanan, was also found guilty by the High Court on two charges of drug possession which he (Mohd Fadli) did not appeal.
He was sentenced to four years’ jail and three strokes of the rotan for possessing 20.51 grammes of cannabis in the apartment and three years’ jail and three strokes of the rotan for being in possession of 5.13gm of methamphetamine in his pocket. Both sentences are to run concurrently. — Bernama