Wife killer spared the gallows

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

Justice Hadhariah Syed Ismail, heading a three-member panel of judges, rejected the appeal of former electrician Taufeeq Mohsein Ahmad Tahir, 38.

She said the conviction of the appellant was deemed safe.

Justice Hadhariah, reading the unanimous decision, said the High Court judge had made a factual finding that the 12th and 13th prosecution witnesses (SP12 and SP13) were credible.

The two are the children of the deceased and the accused.

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

“Therefore, the court sets aside the death sentence handed down by the High Court and replaces it with a prison sentence of 30 years from the date of arrest (July 7, 2019) and 12 strokes of the rotan,” said Justice Hadhariah, Bernama reported.

The other judges on the panel were Justices Azman Abdullah and Azmi Ariffin.

Taufeeq Mohsein appealed against the decision of the Kuala Lumpur High Court, which on June 7, 2022, sentenced him to death.

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, under Section 302 of the Penal Code.

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 had happened on the day in question.

According to Manoharan, there is serious doubt as to whether the injuries or other factors caused the death of the deceased, following the chemical report and autopsy, which showed 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 her death,” said Manoharan, who appeared together with co-counsel Johan Ariff and M. Hariharan.

Deputy public prosecutor Eyu Ghim Siang argued that there were 51 injuries on the deceased and the findings were supported by the testimony of SP11, the pathologist who had performed the autopsy.

“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 the deceased’s 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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