PUTRAJAYA, April 3 — A father of five escaped the gallows today after the Federal Court commuted his death sentence to 33 years in prison for murdering his ex-wife, who was still in her iddah period (a specified period of time that must elapse before a Muslim widow or divorcee may legitimately remarry) at a house in Segamat, Johor, 19 years ago.

The three-judge panel comprised of Judges Datuk Harmindar Singh Dhaliwal, Datuk Rhodzariah Bujang, and Datuk Nordin Hassan set aside the death sentence imposed on Daud Ahmad, 54, after granting his review application under the Revision of Sentence of Death and Imprisonment for Natural Life (Temporary Jurisdiction of the Federal Court) Act 2023, which came into force last year.

The court ordered the former village labourer to serve his prison sentence from the date of arrest on August 27, 2005. Daud has already served 19 years in the Simpang Renggam Prison, Johor.

Earlier, Daud’s lawyer Mohd Radzi Yatiman, requested the court to set aside the death penalty and commute it to a 31 to 33 years prison sentence without caning, taking into account that he is now over 50 years old.

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“In this case, the applicant (Daud) surrendered himself to the police, and no weapons were used. Based on the testimony of the eighth prosecution witness, a pathologist, the cause of death was determined to be Ligature Strangulation, indicating that the deceased was strangled with a scarf.

“The applicant has sincerely repented, and all five of his children took turns visiting him in prison,” the lawyer said.

On November 28, 2009, the Muar High Court sentenced Daud to death for the murder of restaurant worker, Mimi Afiza Tamby, 31, at an unnumbered house in Kampung Lubok Batu, Segamat, Johor, between 1.30am and 2.30am on August 26, 2005.

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On May 31, 2012, the Court of Appeal upheld the High Court’s decision, and his subsequent appeal was also dismissed by the Federal Court on September 4, 2013.

Deputy public prosecutor Datin Asmah Musa said the prosecution did not oppose the commuting of the death sentence but requested the court to impose a prison sentence of between 35 and 40 years.

“We (the prosecution) have taken note of the deceased’s family and the applicant’s children. Although no knife was used, a scarf was used to strangle his ex-wife,” she said.

Based on the facts of the case, the couple had divorced on June 25, 2005. The deceased had lived with their five children, while the accused resided elsewhere.

On the day of the incident, they had a quarrel regarding the custody of their youngest son, who was six years old at the time. The next day, the victim’s body was found in a garbage heap about 18 metres from their home. — Bernama