|www.corpun.com : Archive : 1996 : MY Judicial Aug 1996|
Corpun file 0264 at www.corpun.com
The Straits Times, Singapore, 2 August 1996
Hockey coach uses landmark decision to lodge appeal
KUALA LUMPUR -- A national hockey coach who was convicted of statutory rape has used last week's landmark decision by the Malaysian Federal Court on the burden of proof as one of the grounds for his appeal against his conviction and sentence.
The Star reported yesterday that M. Mahendran's defence counsel Karpal Singh said that Sessions Judge Zura Yahya had erred in law by evaluating the prosecution's evidence on the prima facie principle.
He said she had not used the maximum evaluation test of "beyond reasonable doubt" when she called for the defence.
"She further stated that based on the prosecution's evidence, a prima facie case which was beyond reasonable doubt had been proven.
"The judge seems to have joined both the tests of proof. . . . She seems to have confused herself in the face of the authority. Such a misdirection should be considered to allow this appeal," he said in his submission before Justice Datuk K.C. Vohrah.
Mahendran, 38, was found guilty of raping a 15-year-old secondary school student, a trainee at his sports centre between Nov 15 1993 and Jan 21 1994. He was granted a stay of execution of his 10-year jail term and four strokes of the rotan, pending his appeal.
The New Straits Times quoted Mr Karpal Singh as saying that there were material contradictions in the prosecution's case. He cited, as an example, the evidence of the doctor who examined the girl.
He said the doctor, a prosecution witness, had said that he did not believe the girl when she said that Mahendran had raped her only once as his findings showed she had sex more than once.
Last week, the Malaysian Federal Court, in a 4-3 majority decision, ruled that a higher standard of proof was required for the prosecution to state a case against an accused in a criminal trial, rejecting a 1981 Privy Council ruling arising out of a Singapore murder case.
Chief Justice Tan Sri Mohd Eusoff Chin, one of four judges in the majority, said the burden on the prosecution was to prove every aspect of the offence beyond reasonable doubt at the close of its case.
The ruling settled the longstanding uncertainty of whether the courts should follow the "beyond-all-reasonable-doubt" approach used in some local cases, or the "prima facie case" approach in Privy Council cases.
Lord Diplock in the 1981 Privy Council decision, arising from the appeal of murderer Haw Tua Tow in Singapore, stated that a judge must let the case go on if there was "some credible evidence" to prove the offence.
The decision is expected to affect 400 criminal appeal cases in Malaysia.
Corpun file 0287 at www.corpun.com
The Star, Kuala Lumpur, 14 August 1996
Court urged to order a retrial
KUALA LUMPUR: A prosecutor has urged the High Court to order a retrial for a hockey coach found guilty of rape because he had raped the victim twice and not once as charged.
Submitting in an appeal brought by M. Mahendran against his conviction yesterday, DPP Mohamed Ghazali Mohamed Taib agreed with counsel Karpal Singh that the case involved two counts of rape.
"Because of such an irregularity and mistake, the court must order a retrial," said Mohamed Ghazali.
Mahendran, 38, who was found guilty in March last year of raping a 15-year-old girl, is appealing against both his conviction and sentence.
He was convicted of committing the offence at the Mahendran Sports Centre in Sentul Pasar here between Nov 15, 1993 and Jan 21 last year.
Mahendran was granted a stay of execution of his 10-year jail term and four strokes of the rotan pending this appeal.
Mr Justice Vohrah deferred decision to Sept 6.
Corpun file 0288 at www.corpun.com
The Star, Kuala Lumpur, 17 August 1996
Man gets 20 years jail and cane for raping daughter
KUANTAN: An estate supervisor was jailed a total of 20 years and ordered to be given 10 strokes of the rotan by a Sessions Court here yesterday after he pleaded guilty to two counts of raping his 13-year-old daughter last year.
Sessions judge Ahmad Nafsy Yassin jailed the 37-year-old man for 10 years on the first count and ordered him to be whipped five times.
On the second count, the man was jailed another 10 years and ordered to be given another five rotan strokes.
However, the judge ordered the jail sentences to run concurrently.
Before passing sentence, Ahmad Nasfy said the man's act was despicable and had destroyed his own daughter's future.
He said although the man had problems with his estranged wife, he had no reason to take advantage of his daughter to satisfy his lust.
The man had pleaded guilty to raping his daughter in a kongsi at Porim oil palm estate at Cenderawasih, Rompin, between 2.30pm and 3pm on Dec 3, 1995. He also admitted the second charge of raping his daughter at the same place and date at 8pm.
Corpun file 0277 at www.corpun.com
The Sunday Star, Kuala Lumpur, 25 August 1996
Police "must monitor ex-addicts"
By Syed Azhar
KRATONG: The National Anti-Drug Council has proposed that inmates released from drug rehabilitation centres be placed under area police inspectors for two years to monitor their activities.
Deputy Home Minister Datuk Megat Junid Ayob said the inmates could choose where they wanted to stay and would have to report to the police station daily.
"Former inmates will also be required to undergo urine tests to ensure they were free from such activities.
"This way, the police will be able to keep pushers at bay," he told reporters after meeting Rela members in the Rompin district yesterday.
Megat Junid said another proposal was for mandatory whipping and jail for inmates who caused riots, demonstrations, escape from centres and other disturbances at rehabilitation centres.
"We want Parliament to approve the amendment to the Dangerous Drugs Act and to impose a minimum one stroke of the rotan and a minimum two-month jail sentence on those convicted for such offences."
He said the council proposed harsh sentences to check such rampant incidents at the centres, adding such punishment would also apply to rehabilitation centre officers or trainers caught supplying or smuggling drugs into the centres.
"These proposals may be adopted by the Prisons Department which would want to amend its laws to ensure that prison wardens are aware of the severe punishment if they are caught," he added.
Megat Junid said the proposals would first be submitted to the Attorney-General's Chambers before being forwarded to the Cabinet, adding it would only be tabled in Parliament next year.
He also said that the council had decided to administer the new drug naltrexone on at least 2,000 addicts to verify its effectiveness.
He said the Government was expected to spend at least RM6 on each addict a day, and if it proved effective, the drug would be used on all 17,000 addicts in the country.
Corpun file 0279 at www.corpun.com
The Star, Kuala Lumpur, 26 August 1996
Pemadam lauds proposal
Police supervision will also keep drug pushers away, says Lee
PETALING JAYA: Pemadam has come out in support of the National Drug Council's proposal that inmates released from drug rehabilitation centres be placed under restricted police supervision for two years to monitor them.
Its vice-president Datuk Lee Lam Thye said Pemadam felt this was an appropriate move to prevent those who had undergone rehabilitation from picking up the habit again.
"Placing them under police supervision will not only keep them away from drugs but also prevent the drug pushers from wooing them," he said.
He was responding to press reports yesterday which quoted deputy Home Minister Datuk Megat Junid Megat Ayob as saying that the inmates could choose where they wanted to stay and would have to report to the police station daily.
He had said former inmates would also be required to undergo urine tests to ensure they were free from such activities and enable the police to keep pushers at bay.
Megat Junid said another proposal was for mandatory whipping and jail for inmates who caused riots, demonstrations and those who escaped from centres.
He said that such punishment would also apply to rehabilitation officers or trainers caught supplying or smuggling drugs into the centres.
Lee said Pemadam also supported such proposal.
He said there must also be discipline and better administration in these centres.
Lee added that all drug rehabilitation centres should only have 500 inmates at one time each to overcome overcrowding and congestion.
"Pemadam also feels that the time has come for the new drug naltrexone to be experimented on addicts to verify its effectiveness," he said.
THE ARCHIVE index
About this website
Country fileswww.corpun.com Main menu page