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Foreign National Nearly Escapes Death Sentence For Drug Trafficking In Malaysia

A Nigerian national was spared the death penalty after the Federal Court in Kuching, Malaysia, overturned his conviction and death sentence for drug trafficking, which had been upheld by the High Court and the Court of Appeal.

On June 7, 2016, at approximately 12:05 a.m., the Nigerian, Jonas Chihurumanya, was apprehended in a car park at Jalan Canna for allegedly trafficking 158.3g of methamphetamine. He was charged with trafficking 158.3g of methamphetamine.

The charge was brought against him under Section 39B (1)(a) of the Dangerous Drugs Act (DDA) 1952, and he is penalized under Section 39B(2) of the same Act, which provides a death sentence or life imprisonment with whipping as a penalty if found guilty.

The Kuching High Court found him guilty and condemned him to death on January 30, 2018, after a two-day trial.

His attorney attempted to have the verdict of the High Court overturned by the Court of Appeal, but was unsuccessful on October 23, 2019. He then filed an appeal with the Federal Court of Appeal.

An independent three-member panel, led by Datuk Seri Mohd Zawawi Salleh and including Datuk Nallini Pathmanathan and Datuk Abdul Rahman Sebli, unanimously discharged and acquitted Jonas Chihurumnanya after allowing his appeal in Zoom proceedings on Thursday, November 11,2021, after allowing his appeal in Zoom proceedings.

It was determined by the Federal Court that the circumstantial evidence did not irrefutably lead to Chihurumnanya having knowledge of the purported drugs that were located in the boot of the vehicle he was driving.

In the absence of knowledge, the panel determined that the prosecution had failed to demonstrate the element of possession as required by the law.

The Federal Court also found that the trial judge made a serious miscalculation in invoking the statutory presumption under Section 37(da) of the Dangerous Drugs Act while simultaneously relying on Section 2 of the same Act to prove the element of trafficking, which prejudiced the appellant in terms of the burden of proof placed on him by the court.

Chihurumnanya was represented by Satinder Singh Sandhu, Muhammad Izayyeem Azim, and Lim Vui Seng, while the prosecution was represented by How May Ling, a deputy public prosecutor in the city of Singapore.

Content created and supplied by: Sheraupdates (via Opera News )

Federal Court High Court Jalan Canna Jonas Chihurumanya Malaysia


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