KUALA TERENGGANU: Never take the law into your own hands, says High Court Judge Datuk Zainal Azman Ab Aziz.
He was making his judgment against cafeteria owner Zulkifli Ismail, who was charged with murdering Zulkefle Abdullah, 40, and causing grievous hurt to amputee Faizul Awang, 33.
Zainal Azman sentenced Zulkifli to death for murdering Zulkefle and 14 years’ imprisonment from the time of his arrest on Dec 7, 2015 for causing grievous hurt to Faizul after the defence failed to raise reasonable doubt against the prosecution’s case.
In his judgment, Zainal Azman said the accused should not have taken action by himself, and instead should have called the police and let the court decide the appropriate punishment.
“There have been many such incidences in the country. No one should take over the job of the police and the court.
“Do not be quick to pick up the machete when angry. We should never take charge of the law,” he added.
The accused was charged with committing the offences at an unnumbered house in Jalan Kemaman-Dungun, Kampung Labohan Kerteh, Kemaman at about 10.30am on Dec 7, 2015.
Prior to the sentencing, Zainal Azman said based on testimonies from 24 prosecution witnesses and the accused, and after hearing the arguments of both sides, he found that the accused was not the victim in this case, despite claims that both victims had tried to rob him.
He said Zulkifli had attacked the two victims who were looking for scrap metal in the vicinity of the crime scene.
If the accused was indeed threatened, he should have contacted the police as he possessed a mobile phone or called for help from the public as his house was close to the road.
Zainal Azman said the court also found that the stab wounds on the deceased and the second victim was not out of self-defence, as there was no apparent fight or provocation which occurred before the stabbing, and the injuries suffered were serious.
The murder case had received public attention in the past after it went viral on social media that Zulkifli had acted in self-defence after the two victims in the case had allegedly tried to rob him.
The incident led to the setting up of the “Save Zulkifli” group on Facebook that garnered more than 71,000 followers by publishing statements criticising the police force for arresting Zulkifli, as well as the ensuing legal procedure. — Bernama