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Judicial CP - February 1997

Corpun file 0621 at


The Star, Kuala Lumpur, 18 February 1997

Standard of proof test saves accused

By Esther Ng

KUALA LUMPUR: Although Parliament has amended the law to change the standard of proof at the close of the prosecution's case to prima facie, the Federal Court, in a criminal matter yesterday, followed its judgment in the landmark Arulpragasan v Public Prosecutor that the standard should be that of beyond reasonable doubt.

Following the decision of a seven-man Bench of the Federal Court on July 27, the Criminal Procedure Code was amended last December. The amendment, however, was only gazetted on Jan 31 and was to take effect on Feb 1.

In hearing the first of 10 death row cases, the question of which standard should be applied was raised by Gurbachan Singh, counsel for construction worker Bahruni Ismail.

On Nov 4, 1990, Bahruni was sentenced to death by the Johor Baru High Court for trafficking in 24.88gm of heroin at the Nam Hoe estate in Skudai on April 14, 1985.

During submissions, Federal Court judge Tan Sri Azmi Kamaruddin pointed out that the court was bound by the decision in Arulpragasan's case until the enactment of the amendment.

"We cannot reopen Arulpragasan's case. It has to be accepted as the law as it stands (during this interim period between Arulpragasan's judgment and when the amendment takes effect), said Azmi.

Chief Judge of Malaya Tan Sri Anuar Zainal Abidin and Azmi were among the three dissenting judges in Arulpragasan's appeal to decide on a prima facie standard of proof.

Also sitting with the two yesterday was Court of Appeal judge Datuk Shaik Daud Ismail.

Bahruni's death sentence was commuted to 15 years' jail from the date of his arrest on April 14, 1985, for possession of drugs. He was also ordered to be given 10 strokes of the rotan.

Corpun file 0628 at


The Star, Kuala Lumpur, 21 February 1997

Labourer gets jail and cane for raping stepsister

KOTA KINABALU: A labourer was jailed for 15 years by the Sessions Court here yesterday after he admitted raping his 10-year-old stepsister.

Judge Akhtar Tahir also ordered Muin Suwaid, 28, to be given six strokes of the cane for raping the girl between last Nov 30 and Jan 17 this year.

Prosecuting officer Insp Fadzil Mohd Ali told the court that the girl had gone to the police station here with her elder sister on Jan 20 to report that Muin had raped her.

He said investigations showed that Muin had been staying with the girl's family at Kampung Likas since he was 15 years old.

Fadzil said last November, Muin had asked the family to allow the girl to stay with him at Kampung Tabunos, Inanam, so that she could do household chores for him.

On Jan 19, the family went to fetch her and noticed that she was not well.

When questioned, the girl told them she had been raped several times by Muin since she began staying in his house. She told her family that she was last raped on Jan 17.

The girl told her family that Muin had threatened to harm her when she resisted. Muin was arrested the day after the police report was lodged.

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