[Deathpenalty] death penalty news-----worldwide
rhalperi at mail.smu.edu
Tue Sep 4 23:18:32 CDT 2007
Prisoners want sentences set aside
A death row prisoner and another granted an acquittal but held under the
pleasure of the ruler have filed separate notices of motion at the Court
of Appeal to have their sentences set aside.
This follows the failure of Federal Court judge Datuk Hashim Yusoff, who
was then a High Court judge in Seremban, to provide the written grounds of
judgment and notes of evidence in both cases.
The cases were 1st heard in 2000 and Hashim had delivered his oral
judgments 2 years later.
Both applications were filed at the Court of Appeal registry in Putrajaya.
Ameenuddin Mohamed filed the application on behalf of Abdul Aziz Mohd
Shariff, 30, who has been on death row since 2002. Haresh Mahadhevan filed
a similar application for 30-year-old Omar Bashri.
Abdul Aziz, a honey seller, was found guilty of murdering K. Balakrishnan,
38, at the victim's house in Gemas, Negri Sembilan, on April 7, 2000.
Self-employed Omar was acquitted of murdering Abd Hamid Isa, 18, at a
durian orchard in Kampung Gebok, Mantin, Negri Sembilan, on July 23, 1999.
Omar was, however, ordered by the High Court to be held at the Sungai
Buloh prison under the pleasure of the Yang di-Pertuan Besar when he was
ruled to have been under the influence of an intoxicating substance when
committing the offence.
Abdul Aziz and Omar's plight were reported in the New Straits Times on Aug
Yesterday, they named the public prosecutor as the respondent in their
application. They claimed that Hashim's failure to provide the notes of
evidence and grounds of judgment for their appeal represented a
miscarriage of justice and a denial of the due process of law.
In Ameenuddin's supporting affidavit, it was stated that he had filed a
notice of appeal at the Seremban High Court on July 12, 2002, and had
tried 5 times between 2004 and this year to get the notes of evidence and
grounds of judgment but to no avail.
Similarly, Haresh in his supporting affidavit stated that he also filed a
similar notice of appeal on Aug 6, 2002, while the prosecution had made a
cross appeal on Aug 8, 2002.
Haresh and the prosecution had written to the Seremban High Court for more
than 5 years but had yet to receive the notes of evidence and grounds of
The cases involving Ameenuddin and Haresh came on the heels of a similar
application by Baha Jambol, 45, who had applied to set aside his death
sentence after failing to receive the written judgment for his appeal.
He was sentenced to death after being found guilty of trafficking 50kg of
ganja in front of the Gua Musang police station on Dec 31, 1996.
The judge in Baha's case was Tengku Baharuddin Shah Tengku Mahmud who is
now serving in the Court of Appeal.
(source: The New Straits Times)
Envoy Wants Death Penalty Scrapped
British High Commissioner Mr Adam Wood has urged the Government to speed
up prison reforms to ease congestion.
Wood also wants the death penalty scraped, saying it was abolished in
Britain and Rwanda.
He said Kenya should embrace such reforms after the General Election as
many countries have already done so.
"Many countries have struck off the death sentence. Britain and her
European Union partners are working towards its abolishment. That trend
has begun to take route in Africa," he said.
He said maybe next year, the debate started by Kenyan National Human
Rights Commission would lead to scrapping of the death penalty.
(source: East African Standard)
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