Two escape gallows, get jail terms instead for drug possession

PUTRAJAYA: Two men were spared the gallows on Friday (Nov 26) in separate drug trafficking cases and were instead sentenced to jail after the Court of Appeal substituted their charges with possession.

Lorry driver Mahadi Abidin, 50, was sentenced to 25 years’ jail for possessing 97.76g of cannabis in the parking area of a nasi kandar restaurant in Taman Sejati, Sungai Petani, Kedah on July 15, 2015.

He was spared the rotan in view of his age as the Criminal Procedure Code spares those 50 and over from whipping.

In another case, Mohd Fadli Yusoff, 41, who formerly worked as a mover, was sentenced to 15 years’ jail and 10 strokes of the rotan for possessing 103.44g of methamphetamine at an apartment in Pandan Mewah Heights in Selangor on Jan 3, 2016.

A three-member bench of the Court of Appeal comprising Datuk Has Zanah Mehat, Datuk Ahmad Nasfy Yasin and Datuk Che Mohd Ruzima Ghazali heard both cases separately.

Mahadi and Mohd Fadli’s cases were tried in different High Courts and they were subsequently found guilty of drug trafficking and sentenced to death.

In Mahadi’s case, Justice Has Zanah, who chaired the bench, held that his appeal had merits as there was a misdirection in the findings of the High Court judge.

She said Mahadi’s conviction for drug trafficking was not safe but she however held that there was sufficient evidence to convict him on a charge of drug possession.

Justice Has Zanah said Mahadi was sentenced to a longer jail term due to the amount of the drugs and ordered the sentence to start from the date of his arrest on July 15, 2015.

Mahadi’s lawyer S. Jayananda Rao argued that the High Court judge had misdirected herself on the burden of proof imposed on his client when calling him to enter his defence.

Deputy public prosecutor Nahra Dollah appeared for the prosecution in Mahadi’s case.

Earlier, Mohd Fadli pleaded guilty to the possession charge and his prison term was ordered to begin from the date of his arrest on Jan 3, 2016.

Mohd Fadli, who was represented by lawyer V. Saravanan, was also found guilty by the High Court on two additional charges of drug possession which he (Mohd Fadli) did not appeal.

He was sentenced to four years’ jail and three strokes of the rotan for possessing 20.51g of cannabis in the apartment and three years’ jail and three strokes of the rotan for being in possession of 5.13g of methamphetamine in his pocket.

All three of his jail terms would run concurrently while he would receive a total of 16 strokes of the rotan for the possession charges. – Bernama

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