KOTA BARU, April 17 — A stall trader today escaped the gallows after the Federal Court commuted the death sentence to 35 years in prison for killing a man nine years ago.

A panel of three judges led by Chief Justice Tun Tengku Maimun Mat unanimously allowed the review filed by Mohamad Zulkifli Ismail, 59 under Section 302 of the Penal Code, Section 2(4) and 3(1) of the Revision of Sentence of Death and Imprisonment for Natural Life (Temporary Jurisdiction of the Federal Court) Act 2023.

Tengku Maimun set aside the death sentence handed down on Mohamad Zulkifli by the Kuala Terengganu High Court on May 27, 2018, and ordered him to serve a 35-year jail term starting from the date of his arrest on December 7, 2015.

Mohamad Zulkifli has been imprisoned for nine years.


Court of Appeal president Tan Sri Abang Iskandar Abang Hashim and Federal Court Judge Datuk Nordin Hassan also presided over the case.

The Kuala Terengganu High Court sentenced Mohamad Zulkifli to death after finding him guilty under Section 302 of the Penal Code for killing a scrap metal collector, Zulkefle Abdullah, 37, at a house in Kampung Labohan, Kerteh, at 10.30am on December 7, 2015.

On October 25, 2021, Mohamad Zulkifli appealed against the decision, but the Federal Court upheld the death sentence.


Earlier, lawyer Mazlan Md Zain, appearing for Mohamad Zulkifli, stated that the facts of the case indicated that the appellant was the victim because the incident occurred near his house.

However, Deputy Public Prosecutor Norzilati Izhani Zainal@Zainol requested the court to uphold the sentence because the crime committed is deemed too heinous as the victim was left to die at the scene.

The case went viral on social media, claiming that Mohamad Zulkifli committed the act in self-defence to fend off a robbery.

A group named “Save Zulkifli” was created on Facebook, amassing 71,000 followers and posting various negative statements questioning the police’s authority in arresting Mohamad Zulkifli.

The case is among the 28 review cases heard during the Federal Court Session held at the Kota Baru High Court today, including cases from the East Coast states. — Bernama