Federal Court upholds death sentence for former ship cleaner over businessman's murder

  • Nation
  • Thursday, 11 Nov 2021

PUTRAJAYA (Bernama): A former ship cleaner, who was convicted of murdering a businessman by stabbing and setting the victim’s body alight seven years ago, failed in his final appeal at the Federal Court here to set aside his death sentence.

A three-member panel of the Federal Court, led by Justice Datuk Vernon Ong Lam Kiat, unanimously dismissed the final appeal of Izwanuddin Kasim, 41, on Thursday (Nov 11) after finding that the appellant’s appeal had no merit.

"After examining the record of the appeal and the grounds of judgment by the High Court Judge, later confirmed by the Court of Appeal, we find that there was nothing wrong with the two courts.

"Therefore, the decision of the High Court and the Court of Appeal to convict the appellant (Izwanuddin) of murder is upheld. With this, the appellant's appeal is dismissed,” said Justice Ong, who sat with Puan Sri Zaleha Yusof and Datuk Harmindar Singh Dhaliwal.

After the panel of judges delivered the verdict, Izwanuddin was seen crying and being hugged by his father and comforted by family members who were present at Thursday's proceedings.

On Oct 1, 2017, Izwanuddin was found guilty and sentenced to death by the Johor Baru High Court. His appeal in the Court of Appeal was dismissed on Sept 30, 2019.

Izwanuddin, along with a Singaporean man, Noriskandar Zainal Yahya, were charged with killing Yong Boon Cheong, 54, along Jalan Skudai, Danga Bay, Johor Baru, between 6am and 7am on July 4, 2014, according to Section 302 of the Penal Code.

However, during the trial, which began in March 2015, the prosecution filed an amended charge against Noriskandar under Section 212 of the Penal Code for helping to dispose of the body, and the man was later sentenced to eight years in prison by the Johor Baru Sessions Court.

Earlier, lawyer Rosli Kamaruddin, who represented Izwanuddin, argued that there was no solid evidence to show the appellant used a weapon to stab the victim in the chest, subsequently causing death.

"There were six people involved in beating the victim and my client only used his hands and feet when committing the act, without using any weapon,” he said, adding that the prosecution also failed to call a woman known as "Ros Elly", who was allegedly involved in the incident, to testify.

Meanwhile, Deputy Public Prosecutor Abdul Ghafar Abd Latif argued that the 15th prosecution witness (SP15), a taxi driver, in his testimony, stated that he had seen a fight involving the appellant, the deceased (Yong) and a woman (Ros Elly) while dropping off passengers at Polo Park.

"SP15 stated that he saw the appellant punching the deceased in the face, apart from that there was sufficient evidence from other prosecution witnesses that the appellant stabbed the victim,” he said.

Abdul Ghafar said that SP17, the pathologist, who performed the autopsy on the deceased, in his testimony, stated that the cause of death was due to a stab wound to the heart and the victim died before being set alight.

"The conviction of the appellant is safe and we request that the decision of the High Court and the Court of Appeal be upheld,” he said. - Bernama

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Federal Court , Appeal , Death Sentence , Upheld


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