Man escapes gallows, gets 30yrs jail for murdering wife

PUTRAJAYA: A father of five escaped the gallows after the Court of Appeal here commuted the sentence to 30 years jail and 12 strokes of the rotan for murdering his wife five years ago.

Datuk Hadhariah Syed Ismail, heading a three-member panel of judges, rejected the appeal of former electrician Taufeeq Mohsein Ahmad Tahir, 38, on Monday (Feb 26).

She said the conviction of the appellant was deemed safe.

Reading the unanimous decision, Hadhariah said the 12th and 13th prosecution witness (SP 12 and SP 13) are the children of the accused and deceased, and the High Court judge had made a factual finding that the two were credible witnesses.

Regarding the punishment, the judge said the court adopted the Abolition of Mandatory Death Penalty Act 2023 (Act 846) which gives the court discretion to impose the death penalty or imprisonment, Bernama reported.

"Therefore, the court set aside the death sentence handed down by the High Court and replaced it with 30 years imprisonment from the date of arrest (July 7, 2019) and 12 strokes of the rotan," said Hadhariah, who sat with judges Datuk Azman Abdullah and Datuk Azmi Ariffin.

Taufeeq Mohsein appealed against the decision of the Kuala Lumpur High Court on June 7, 2022 which sentenced him to death after he was found guilty of murdering Siti Noorasny Md Zain at PPR Desa Tun Razak, Cheras between 8pm on July 6, 2019 and 2.48am on July 7, 2019.

Earlier, Taufeeq Mohsein's lawyer M. Manoharan argued that there was no evidence that the two siblings (SP12 and SP13) witnessed the incident as both of them could not confirm what happened on the day in question.

The lawyer said there is serious doubt as to whether injuries or other things caused the death of the deceased following the chemical report and autopsy clearly showing the presence of drugs in the blood and bile of the deceased.

"The deceased was a drug addict and it is possible that the drugs taken by the deceased could have caused death," said Manoharan, who appeared together with co-counsels Johan Ariff and M. Hariharan.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Eyu Ghim Siang argued that there were 51 injuries on the deceased and this (finding) was supported by the testimony of 11th prosecution witness (SP11), who was the pathologist who performed the autopsy on the body of the deceased.

"SP11 in his testimony said the pattern of injuries on the deceased was caused by a blunt object and not because the deceased fell on her own. SP11 believed the cause of death was due to multiple blunt force trauma to the body," he said.

Eyu also said that the testimony from SP12 and SP13, who are child witnesses, showed that their father hit, punched and kicked the deceased.

"SP12 saw the appellant holding the ‘blunt object’ and hitting the deceased with it while SP13 saw his father punching and kicking their mother," he added.

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