Federal Court commutes death sentence of Thai woman convicted of drug trafficking

Shankar (second right) and Lim (third right) are seen speaking with the appellant outside the courtroom.

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By Dorcas Ting

KUCHING, Jan 15: A Thai woman escaped the gallows after the Federal Court here commuted her sentence for drug trafficking.

Naphaporn Tanjit, 60, was initially charged under Section 39B(1) of the Dangerous Drugs Act 1952 and is punishable under Section 39B(2) of the same Act, which carries a death sentence or imprisonment for life.

She was found guilty of carrying 1,928.4 grammes of methamphetamine at Kuching International Airport Arrival Hall, at about 9pm, on November 1, 2015.

The drugs were found in six backpacks in her checked-in luggage. The appellant arrived on board an AirAsia flight from Kuala Lumpur en route from Hong Kong to Kuching.

After hearing the submissions by the appellant’s counsels, Shankar Ram Asnani and Russell Lim, the prosecution agreed to reduce the appellant’s charge to Section 12(2) of the Dangerous Drugs Act 1952 and is punishable under Section 39A(2) of the same act which carries a minimum of five years in prison or life imprisonment and a minimum of 10 whippings, if convicted.

In the counsels’ submissions, Shankar Ram said that there was a man involved in this case and the appellant has HIV.

The Federal Court five-men bench led by Chief Justice of Malaysia, Tan Sri Dato’ Seri Utama Tengku Maimun Tuan Mat sentenced the appellant to imprisonment of eight years, from the date of arrest, November 1, 2015.

DPP Nahra Dollah appeared for the prosecution. — DayakDaily