Indonesian escapes gallows over murder charge, sentenced to 13 years’ jail

The accused leaves the courtroom after receiving his sentence.

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SIBU, Nov 17: An Indonesian oil palm plantation worker escaped the gallows after the High Court here today amended the charge to culpable homicide not amounting to murder instead of murder.

High Court judicial commissioner Christopher Chin Soo Yin sentenced the accused, Odang, 31, to 13 years in jail. The sentence is to take effect from the date of his arrest on Feb 22, 2019.

Chin in passing the judgement said after evaluating the evidence of the case, held that the conviction of the accused should be under Section 304 (a) of the Penal Code to culpable homicide not amounting to murder instead of under Section 302 of the same Code which he was initially charged with.

He said the accused was acting in self-defence as he was attacked by the deceased, Rianto, another Indonesian, who was armed with a knife.

Odang was charged with causing the death of the deceased between 9.30pm on February 20, 2019 and 7.20am the next day at an oil palm plantation in Mukah.

At the time of the incident, the deceased wanted to sell drugs to the accused. He told the accused to meet at a place some 500m away from their workers’ quarters.

When they met up, the accused declined to buy the drugs. This caused the deceased to become furious and he tried to grab money from the accused’s pocket. When the accused stopped him from doing so, the deceased took out a knife and attacked him.

The accused also drew out his knife and attacked back, resulting in the death of the deceased.

Odang was represented by counsel Ranbir Singh Sangha while Deputy Public Prosecutor Rex Heng Yi Min prosecuted. — DayakDaily