PUTRAJAYA: A Pakistani man escaped the gallows today after the charge against him for drug trafficking was substituted with one of drug possession.

Sardar Ali Hassan Muhammad 47, who worked as a construction worker, was instead sentenced to 20 years’ imprisonment and ordered to be whipped 10 times for possessing 1909.8 grammes of heroin and monoacetylmorphine, eight years ago.

A Federal Court three-member panel comprising Justices Datuk Vernon Ong Lam Kiat, Datuk Zabariah Mohd Yusof and Datuk Rhodzariah Bujang substituted his conviction for the drug trafficking offence with drug possession after deputy public prosecutor Baizura Kamal informed the court that the prosecution agreed to substitute the charge.

Justice Vernon, who chaired the panel, ordered Sardar Ali’s 20-year jail sentence to start from Aug 7, 2014, the day he was arrested.

According to the charge sheet, Sardar Ali committed the offence at the international arrival baggage claim area at Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA), Sepang, Selangor at 1.10 pm on Aug 7, 2014.

On Oct 27, 2017, the Shah Alam High Court convicted and sentenced him to death for drug trafficking.

Sardar Ali lost his appeal at the Court of Appeal on Aug 11, 2020. - Bernama