Federal Court upholds death sentence on foreman for drug trafficking

20 Nov 2019 / 16:44 H.

PUTRAJAYA: The Federal Court here today upheld the conviction and death sentence of a foreman for two counts of trafficking in 37 kg of cannabis.

Court of Appeal President Tan Sri Ahmad Maarop, who delivered the judgment of the remaining five out of a seven members of the bench, ruled that the High Court judge did not err in invoking section 37 (da) of the Dangerous Drugs Act 1952 (DDA) to convict Jazlie Jaafar for both charges.

“We find no misdirection or appealable error on the part of the learned judge of the High Court. Having carefully scrutinized the evidence on record and having carefully examined the judgment of the learned judge of the High Court, we are satisfied that the conviction and (death) sentence on Jazlie on both charges are safe,“ said Justice Ahmad, who is retiring on Nov 24, this year.

He said the prosecution could rely on Section 36 of the DDA which states that the burden of proof is shifted to the accused persons to prove they had licence to possess drugs.

A seven-member bench that also comprised of Chief Judge of Malaya Tan Sri Azahar Mohamed (then a Federal Court judge) and then Chief Judge of Malaya Tan Sri Zaharah Ibrahim and Federal Court judges Datuk Rohana Yusuf, Datuk Abang Iskandar Abang Hashim and Datuk Nallini Pathmanathan and Tan Sri Ramly Ali heard Jazlie’s appeal six months ago.

However, a five-member bench delivered the judgment today as two judges (Zaharah and Ramly) had retired.

Jazlie’s lawyer Hisyam Teh Poh Teik had submitted that before invoking the presumption of trafficking, the prosecution must prove three elements, that the accused was found in possession of the drugs, the weight of the drugs and it must also shown that the accused had no licence to possess the drugs.

He said Section 37 (da) requirements had not been fulfilled because there was absence of evidence with regards to whether Jazlie had licence to possess the drugs.

Based on the facts of the case, a police team went to a house in Wangsa Maju and conducted surveillance in front of the house at 3pm on March 11, 2015.

About 30 minutes later, Jazlie arrived in a motorcycle and stopped beside the road as if waiting for someone. The police team pounced on him (Jazlie) and arrested him. A body search was carried out on Jazlie and found a compressed slab wrapped in aluminium foil tucked infront of Jazlie’s pants.

The slab was certified by the chemist to be 1013 gm of cannabis.

According to the facts of the case, Jazlie then led the police to the house where two plastic boxes were found in a room which later was certified by chemist to be cannabis weighing 35.6 kg.

The High Court had convicted and sentenced Jazlie, 45, to death. He appealed to the Federal Court after his appeal was dismissed by the Court of Appeal.

Hisyam told reporters that he would seek instruction from his client on whether to file a review of today’s decision.

Deputy public prosecutor Datuk Dusuki Mokhtar appeared for the prosecution. - Bernama

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