Death sentence commuted, worker gets 33 years for killing foreman

PUTRAJAYA: A Bangladeshi man has escaped the gallows after the Federal Court here commuted his death sentence to 33 years in jail for murdering his compatriot.

Court of Appeal president Tan Sri Abang Iskandar Abang Hashim, who presided with Federal Court judges Datuk Zabariah Mohd Yusof and Datuk Harmindar Singh Dhaliwal, also ordered Shohel to be given 12 strokes of the cane.

Justice Abang Iskandar said in the decision on Wednesday (Dec 13) that the court allowed Shohel’s appeal to set aside the death sentence imposed by the High Court, and substituted it with 33 years in prison and whipping.

He ordered Shohel to serve the sentence from the date of arrest on Feb 11, 2017.

Justice Abang Iskandar, however, affirmed Shohel’s murder conviction.

Shohel, 38, who was a construction worker, was found guilty by the High Court on Oct 23, 2019 of murdering foreman Polaus Kumar, 29, by decapitation.

The offence was committed in an apartment under construction in Alam Jaya, Jeram, Kuala Selangor between 3.30pm and 4.40pm on Feb 9, 2017.

His appeal at the Court of Appeal was dismissed on Nov 2 last year.

According to the facts of the case, Polaus' headless body was found hanging on the 10th floor of the apartment building and his head was found on a lower floor.

After his arrest, Shohel led the police to where he hid an axe and the clothing he wore at the time of the incident.

In Wednesday’s proceedings, DPP K. Mangai informed the court that Shohel would withdraw his appeal against his conviction and both the defence and the prosecution would submit an alternative sentence.

Shohel’s counsel Muhammad Amirrul Jamaluddin asked the court to commute the death sentence to prison following an amendment to Section 302 of the Penal Code which abolished the mandatory death penalty and gave judges the discretion to impose custodial sentences.

He said the murder was not premeditated but happened on the spur of the moment due to provocation.

Also representing Shohel was Afifuddin Ahmad Hafifi. – Bernama

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