KUALA LUMPUR, March 17 — Prominent lawyer Datuk Hisyam Teh Poh Teik is taking over as the lead counsel representing Sam Ke Ting in her appeal against conviction for reckless driving that killed eight teen cyclists on modified bicycles commonly known as “basikal lajak” in 2017.
Hisyam replaces former Federal Court judge Datuk Seri Gopal Sri Ram who died on January 29.
Sam’s case will be heard in the Court of Appeal on March 31.
“Yes confirmed,” Hisyam told Malay Mail today when contacted about his appointment as Sam’s lead counsel.
The Court of Appeal has been informed in a video-conference during case management this morning.
Lawyers Harvinderjit Singh and Faizal Mokhtar who have represented Sam since 2017 will remain part of her legal team.
Sam was initially tried on a reckless driving charge in the Magistrate’s Court in Johor Baru and released on October 28, 2018 without her defence being called.
She was accused of driving recklessly and causing the death of eight boys on Jalan Lingkaran Dalam in Johor Baru, Johor at 3.20am on February 18, 2017.
The eight boys killed in the incident were Mohamad Azrie Danish Zulkefli, 14; Muhamad Shahrul Izzwan Azzuraimie, 14; Muhammad Firdauz Danish Mohd Azhar, 16; Fauzan Halmijan, 13; Mohamad Azhar Amir, 16; Muhammad Harith Iskandar Abdullah, 14; Muhammad Shahrul Nizam Marudin, 14 and Haizad Kasrin, 16.
But the prosecution appealed this verdict and in 2019, High Court judge Shahnaz Sulaiman sent the case back to the Magistrate’s Court for Sam to enter her defence on the reckless driving charge.
Magistrate Siti Hajar Ali, who heard the case in 2019 again discharged and acquitted Sam at the end of the defence case, prompting the prosecution to file a second appeal to the High Court.
On April 13 last year, High Court judge Datuk Abu Bakar Katar allowed the prosecution’s appeal and convicted Sam of driving recklessly and sentenced her to six years in jail and RM6,000 fine.
Sam obtained leave from the Court of Appeal last April 18 to appeal against her conviction and jail sentence.
The Court of Appeal had also allowed Sam’s application to stay the execution of the jail sentence and released her on bail of RM10,000 with one surety pending the appeal hearing.