Tahfiz fire: Federal Court sets Feb 21 to hear murder appeal by youth

PUTRAJAYA: The Federal Court has fixed Feb 21 to hear a 22-year-old youth’s appeal against his conviction for the murder of 23 people in a fire at the Darul Quran Ittifaqiyah tahfiz centre in 2017.

The man is being detained at the pleasure of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong on the order of the High Court on Aug 17, 2020, after he was found guilty of the murder. He was 16 years old at the time of the incident.

His lawyer Haijan Omar confirmed the appeal date when contacted on Wednesday (Dec 6).

ALSO READ: Tahfiz fire murder appeals: Court upholds jail sentence of one youth, acquittal of another

Case management was held earlier in the day before Federal Court deputy registrar Mahyun Yusof, who fixed the hearing date.

The youth, together with another person still at large, was charged with murdering and causing the death of 23 people at the tahfiz centre at Jalan Keramat Hujung, Kampung Datuk Keramat, Wangsa Maju in Kuala Lumpur, between 4.15am and 6.45am on Sept 14, 2017.

He was charged with 23 counts of murder, each framed under Section 302 of the Penal Code and read together with Section 34 of the same law, which provides for the mandatory death sentence upon conviction.

On Sept 11, the Court of Appeal dismissed his appeal and upheld his conviction and prison sentence.

ALSO READ: Tahfiz fire: Youth appeals to Federal Court against murder conviction

The appellate court also dismissed the prosecution’s appeal against the decision of the High Court in acquitting and discharging another youth, also aged 22, for the murder without ordering him to enter his defence. The other accused was also 16 years old at the time of the incident.

It is learnt that no notice of appeal has been filed by the prosecution against the acquittal.

Section 97(1) of the Child Act 2001 stipulates that a death sentence shall not be pronounced or recorded against a person convicted of an offence if the accused is under the age of 18, and in lieu of the death sentence, as provided under Section 97(2) of the same law, the court shall order the person to be detained at the pleasure of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong. – Bernama

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