SEREMBAN: Tears flowed freely at the High Court here after a 20-year-old South Korean student facing the death penalty for drug trafficking was freed after a police officer admitted he lied during the trial.
Kim Yun-soung, who is pursuing a degree in aircraft engineering, immediately hugged counsel Gobind Singh Deo and his grandparents Kim Maung-jin, 71, and Youn Young-ae, 67, after judge Abu Bakar Jais delivered judgment.
Youn, when met outside the court later, said she was glad that the family’s ordeal was finally over.
“We have been suffering in silence for the past year. But today, I do not have the words to describe how relieved we are,” she said in a smattering of English and Bahasa Malaysia.
Youn, who has been living in Kota Kinabalu with her husband under the “Malaysia My Second Home” Programme since 2005, said they planned to return to Seoul for two weeks to be with family members.
“If the paperwork with Immigra-tion is completed today, we plan to leave for Seoul tonight,” she said, adding that they also had to return home as Yun-soung’s student permit had expired.
Earlier, Abu Bakar freed Yun-soung, a second-year student, after the prosecution decided not to continue with the case.
“After taking into account submissions by both parties, I hereby acquit and discharge the accused,” he said.
Yun-soung was charged with committing the offence at an apartment in Bandar Baru Nilai on Oct 19 last year.
He was charged under Section 39B of the Dangerous Drugs Act with trafficking in 219g of cannabis, an offence which carries the mandatory death sentence.
Earlier, deputy public prosecutor Rahimah Abd Majid told the court that the prosecution decided against pursuing the case and that the accused should be given a discharge not amounting to an acquittal.
However, Gobind said his client should be acquitted and discharged.
“Also, my client has been in remand for almost one year. The capital charge cannot be left hanging over his head for an indefinite period,” he said.
Gobind said the fact that the 27-year-old police officer who led the raid had admitted to lying in court also proved that he was not a credible witness.
“The police officer who was the most crucial of the four witnesses produced by the prosecution had brazenly lied.
“It was only after we challenged and told him that we would initiate contempt proceedings against him as we had evidence he was lying did he admit to it,” he said.
In last week’s court proceedings, the inspector had admitted that he lied despite being asked several times if there was anyone else with the 10-member raiding team when they raided Yun-soung’s apartment.
He had even maintained that there was no one else with the police team when the defence said they had a CCTV recording which showed there was another individual in handcuffs present.