PUTRAJAYA: The Federal Court today upheld a 30-year jail sentence and 10 strokes of the cane imposed on a former trader who was found guilty of kidnapping a businessman for a RM500,000-ransom 10 years ago.

A panel of three judges, led by Datuk Vernon Ong Lam Kiat unanimously dismissed the final appeal by Kamaruzaman Mohamed Shah, 44, after finding that there was sufficient evidence by the prosecution regarding the appellant’s involvement in the kidnap.

“Therefore, the conviction against the appellant is safe and the appellant’s appeal is dismissed,“ said the judge, who sat with Justices Datuk Abdul Rahman Sebli and Datuk Zabariah Mohd Yusof.

Earlier, the judges heard submissions by counsel K.A Ramu, representing Kamaruzaman, and deputy public prosecutor Hanim Mohd Rashid.

Kamaruzaman was appealing against the decision of the Court of Appeal, made on April 23, 2019, which upheld the life sentence of 30 years and 10 strokes of the cane that were meted out by the Melaka High Court on Oct 27, 2017.

Prior to that, the Melaka High Court had also convicted and sentenced two men, Sulaiman Abdul Kadir, 41, and Farezzuwan Mohd, 33, for a similar charge.

After the Judge Ong handed down the decision, Kamaruzaman requested for him to be transferred from Kajang Prison to Kluang Prison, in Johor, to be near his family, who is in Simpang Renggam.

“I feel stressed My Lord... It’s okay I didn’t win the case as long as I can meet my family. If it’s possible, My Lord, I want to be placed at the Kluang Prison to make it easier for my family to visit. I have been in Kajang Prison for more than eight years and my family rarely comes to visit because they are too far away,“ he added.

To this, Judge Ong said the court had no jurisdiction to issue an order regarding placement in jail.

“It is under the jurisdiction of the prison itself. A formal application can be submitted to the prison and accompanied with reasons to expedite the transfer process,“ he added.

Following which, Ramu told the court that he would send a formal application to the Kajang Prison.

Kamaruzaman , Sulaiman, and Farezzuwan, with two others still at large, were jointly charged with abducting businessman Tan Tiang See, 46, and wrongfully confining the man for ransom of RM500,000, which was to be paid by the victim’s brother.

They were charged with abducting Tan at a godown at No 1, Jalan TTC 25, Cheng Industrial Estate, Cheng here, and held him in confinement at a house at HJalan Cengal 1, Taman Merdeka, Batu Berendam here at 6pm on Feb 14, 2011.

The charge was made under Section 3(1) of the Kidnapping Act 1961, read together with Section 34 of the same law, which provides the death sentence, or imprisonment for life , and shall, if not sentenced to death, also be liable to whipping.

Judge Datuk Zulkifli Bakar, when handing down the sentence, said the factors that the victim was not ill-treated and ransom money was not paid were among reasons the court used its discretion in not imposing the death sentence. — Bernama