PUTRAJAYA, June 21 — A housewife and her former lover, both convicted of murdering her husband 12 years ago, escaped the gallows today after the Federal Court commuted their sentences to 36 years in prison.

A three-judge panel led by Chief Justice Tun Tengku Maimun Tuan Mat overturned the death sentences previously imposed on K. Annamah, 47, and G. Puganeswaran, 34, after granting their applications under the Revision of Sentence of Death and Imprisonment for Natural Life (Temporary Jurisdiction of the Federal Court) Act 2023.

Justice Tengku Maimun, sitting with Federal Court judges Datuk Rhodzariah Bujang and Datuk Nordin Hassan, ordered both defendants to serve their prison terms from the date of their arrest on February 17, 2012, and sentenced Puganeswaran to 12 strokes of the cane.

Earlier, Puganeswaran’s lawyer A. Saha Deva requested the death penalty be set aside for his client, contending that his client was not present in the room during the killing and that only Annamah and four teenagers were involved.

“There is no evidence of the existence of the Employees Provident Fund (EPF) money allegedly used to pay the underage teenagers,” he said, also noting that Annamah had been abused by her husband.

However, Wan M. Razali Wan A. Kadir, representing Annamah argued that his client’s role was minimal in merely signalling Puganeswaran with a missed call and opening the door to allow the teenagers into the house.

Meanwhile, deputy public prosecutor (DPP) Ng Siew Wee requested for the death sentence to be upheld, arguing that the murder was meticulously planned and pointing out that Annamah had betrayed her marriage by engaging in a relationship with Puganeswaran.

“The murder was carried out through a conspiracy, manipulating four underage teenagers to execute their malicious plan. Puganeswaran promised to pay the teenagers RM5,000 once they completed the murder, using the victim’s EPF savings,” she said.

The prosecution was handled by DPPs Ng Siew Wee and Norzilati Izhani Zainal @ Zainol.

In 2017, the Shah Alam High Court sentenced Puganeswaran and Annamah to death for the murder of lorry driver G. Ganesan, 31, who was stabbed while he was asleep in a flat in Petaling Jaya at 2.47am on February 16, 2012.

The sentence, under Section 302 of the Penal Code, was upheld by both the Court of Appeal and the Federal Court in 2018 and 2020, respectively. — Bernama