Contractor escapes death penalty after acquittal for drug trafficking

PUTRAJAYA: A contractor has escaped the death penalty after he succeeded in his appeal to set aside his conviction and death sentence for drug trafficking.

Feroz Mohamed's appeal was allowed by the three-member Court of Appeal bench comprising Justices Datuk Vazeer Alam Mydin Meera, Datuk M. Gunalan and Datuk SM Komathy Suppiah here on Friday (Sept 15).

In the ruling, Justice Vazeer held that Feroz's conviction for the offences was not safe to be upheld.

He said this was because the prosecution's case was based on the raiding officer's testimony, which was doubtful, and his testimony cast suspicion on his credibility as to what actually transpired on that day.

Feroz's counsel, Afifuddin Ahmad Hafifi, confirmed to Bernama the decision of the Court of Appeal.

On Nov 26, 2021, the High Court convicted Feroz on two charges of trafficking cannabis and sentenced him to death.

For the first charge, the 47-year-old man was accused of trafficking 10,221.50hg of cannabis at a house in Jalan Permatang Kuala in Penaga, Seberang Prai Utara, Penang, at 1pm on June 25, 2018.

He was also accused of trafficking 2,354g of cannabis at a flat at Taman Seri Pinang in Seberang Prai Utara, Penang, at 2pm on the same day.

Afifuddin submitted three issues before the court, including the failure of the High Court judge to consider the credibility of a police officer who testified.

The officer was part of the team that raided the house where the drugs were found and was also the person who discovered the drugs in the car driven by Feroz. He also went to the flat where drugs were also found, with directions provided by Feroz.

Afifuddin argued that a recording made by a defence witness who met the raiding officer before he (the defence witness) gave evidence in the court, showed that a man by the name of Taiyob existed, adding that the police did not investigate or locate the man.

Feroz's defence was that the drugs belonged to Taiyob, who was staying in the flat where the drugs were found. He also claimed that Taiyob had used the car and that the drugs belonged to him. His defence was that the police were looking for Taiyob and not him.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Dhiya Syazwani Izyan Mohd Akhir appeared for the prosecution. – Bernama

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