PUTRAJAYA: Three men saw their life sentences for kidnapping cut to seven years' jail by the Court of Appeal here on a reduced charge of abducting a five-year-old boy with intention to wrongfully confine him in 2015.
This was after deputy public prosecutor Nahra Dollah informed the three-member panel of judges on Monday (July 4) that the prosecution had accepted the trio's oral representation to have their charges amended.
The panel, comprising Justices Datuk Hanipah Farikullah, Datuk Wira Ahmad Nasfy Yasin and Datuk Nordin Hassan, subsequently convicted and sentenced Siow Kek Keong, Riduanshah Yahya and Mohd Saifulamry Jarkasi to seven years’ imprisonment.
Businessman Siow, 52; Indonesian national Riduanshah, 40; and lorry driver Mohd Saifulamry, 35; were initially charged under Section 3 (1) of the Kidnapping Act 1961.
The charge was amended to abduction with intent to wrongfully confine the boy under Section 365 of the Penal Code.
The maximum sentence for kidnapping is death or life imprisonment and whipping, while the charge under Section 365 is punishable with imprisonment of up to seven years and a fine, upon conviction.
In November 2019, the Shah Alam High Court sentenced the three men to life in jail and two strokes of the rotan each after they were found guilty of kidnapping the son of a contractor for a RM300,000 ransom in Jalan Seroja near Taman Setia in Sungai Chua, Kajang, at 9.26am on Oct 9, 2015.
Lawyers Datuk Geethan Ram Vincent, Belinda Low Siet Wan and SS Seelan, representing Siow, Riduanshah and Mohd Saifulamry respectively, mitigated for a reasonable jail sentence to begin from the date of arrest in October 2015, and said their clients were remorseful and promised not to commit the offence again.
Geethan Ram said the victim was unhurt and almost all the ransom money was recovered.
Nahra said the three had served six years and nine months in prison and the jail term was adequate since the maximum jail sentence for the offence under Section 365 is seven years.
She also asked the court to consider that the offence involved a five-year-old child.
Geethan Ram told the media that his client would be released from prison on Monday, taking into account a one-third remission of the jail sentence.
According to the facts of the prosecution's case, the boy was abducted when his mother dropped him off at a kindergarten.
The boy was returned to the family after his father paid the ransom. – Bernama