Painter escapes death sentence after acquitted of trafficking drugs charge

The accused (second right) with his counsels (from left) Nur Atiqah, Nursyaheeqa Nazwa and Osman.

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By Dorcas Ting

KUCHING, July 14: A painter was acquitted and discharged by the High Court here today of trafficking 276.9 grammes of methamphetamine three years ago.

Wan Ming Swee, was charged with one count of trafficking drugs under Section 39B(1) of the Dangerous Drugs Act 1952. It is punishable under Section 39B(2) of the same Act which carries a death sentence or imprisonment for life, and with whipping of not less than fifteen strokes, if the accused is not sentenced to death.

He was alleged to have trafficked 276.9 grammes of methamphetamine at a parking space in Jalan Jamboree off Jalan Stakan Batu 7, at about 12.30pm on January 15, 2019.

He was arrested on January 15, 2019 and had been under remand since.

Wan was represented by Major Osman Ibrahim, Nursyaheeqa Nazwa Radzali and Nur Atiqah Kulah while Deputy Public Prosecutor Michelle Lim prosecuted.

Judge Azhahari Kamal Ramli ruled that the prosecution had adduced sufficient evidence in respect of the possession of the drugs against the accused.

However, the Learned Judge after fully conducting assessment of the evidence, ruled that there was reasonable doubt with regard to the identity of the drug exhibits which was seized and sent to the chemist for analysis.

The judge had earlier said that it was the duty of the prosecution to prove a prima facie case based on credible evidence on maximum evaluation of the evidence.

Thus, if the prosecution’s evidence admits two or more inferences, one of which is in the accused’s favor, then it is the duty of the court to draw inferences that is favorable to the accused.

Therefore, the court ruled that there is a reasonable doubt on the prosecution’s case and it is not safe to call for the accused’s defence.

On January 15, 2019, a team of police led by Insp Thomas Untoi conducted an operation in Kota Samarahan. While waiting in front of a badminton court, the police noticed a red Yamaha motorcycle ridden by the accused passing by and saw a black plastic hanging from the front portion of the said motorcycle.

The police team pursed the accused from behind until the accused arrived at his house. When the police conducted a search on the motorcycle, they recovered drugs in a packet inside the black plastic bag. — DayakDaily