Criminal Law

Appeals Court upholds Death Sentence on Chinese Woman

Date: 02 January 2019; Type: Legal News; Source: Bernama

PUTRAJAYA, Jan 2 (Bernama) - The Court of Appeal today upheld the death sentence imposed on a Chinese woman for trafficking 2,156.8 grams of methamphetamine found inside three pillows in her luggage bag at the Low-Cost Carrier Terminal (LCCT) in Sepang in 2013.

A three-man panel chaired by Datuk Umi Kalthum Abdul Majid unanimously dismissed the appeal by Yan Lanhua, in her 30s, to set aside her conviction and death sentence passed by the Shah Alam High Court on Sept 28, 2017.

Justice Umi Kalthum, who presided over the appeal with justices Datuk Rhodzariah Bujang and Datuk Mohamad Zabidin Mohd Diah, said the panel found that the appeal by Yan had no merit.

“We, therefore, affirm the appellant’s conviction and sentence imposed by the High Court,” Justice Umi Kalthum said after hearing submissions by lawyer Mak Kah Keong, who represented Yan, and Deputy Public Prosecutor K. Mangai.

Yan was found guilty of trafficking 2,156.8 grams of methamphetamine at the Passenger Inspection Branch 2, LCCT, in Sepang, Selangor, upon arrival from Shenzhen, China, at 4.15 pm on Nov 15, 2013. The offence, under Section 39(B)(1)(a) of the Dangerous Drugs Act 1952, carries a mandatory death penalty upon conviction.

According to the facts of the case, Yan had carried a blue luggage bag containing children’s items, among them three small pillows, shoes and clothing and, during an inspection, the drugs were found in the pillows.

During the trial, Yan denied she had knowledge of the drugs and had alleged that the blue bag was given to her by an African named “Baba” at the airport and she had a quick glance but did not see any suspicious item in the bag.

She said “Baba” requested her to deliver the bag to his friend in Malaysia and he (Baba) had paid for her air ticket and given her some pocket money for her stay in Kuala Lumpur.

In another case, the Court of Appeal also affirmed the conviction and death sentence passed on a man, Sharin Abu Bakar, 41, for trafficking of 27.30 grams mixed of heroine and Monoacetylmorphine, in Jalan Kembia 10, Taman Puteri Wangsa, Pelangi Indah, Johor Bahru, Johor at 10.30 pm on March 12, 2016.

Justice Datuk Wira Mohtarudin Baki, who led a three-man bench comprising Datuk Rhodzariah Bujang and Datuk Mohamad Zabidin Mohd Diah, held that the panel unanimously found that the issues raised in the appeal had no merit.

“The evidence is solid and the conviction is safe. As such, the appeal is dismissed, and the conviction and sentence retained,” he said after hearing submissions by lawyer Andrew Lourdes, who represented Sharin, and DPP Dhiya Syazwani Izyan Mohd Akhir.

Sharin had appealed against the Johor Bahru High Court decision of Aug 27, 2017, which convicted him and sentenced him to death after finding him guilty.

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