[Deathpenalty] death penalty news-----worldwide
rhalperi at mail.smu.edu
Thu Sep 27 22:52:30 CDT 2007
Canny Ong's murderer asks to be taken off death row
Convicted murderer Ahmad Najib Aris wants to be off the death row on the
additional grounds that his convictions by the High Court 2 years ago were
not supported by a judgment.
The former aircraft cabin cleaning supervisor was on Thursday allowed by
the Federal Court to put in the extra grounds for his appeal against the
convictions for the rape and murder of IT analyst Canny Ong.
A 5-man panel consisting Chief Judge of Malaya Alauddin Mohd Sheriff,
Federal Court judges Justices Nik Hashim Nik Ab Rahman, S. Augustine Paul,
Zulkifli Ahmad Makinuddin and Zaki Tun Azmi unanimously granted the order.
Appearing before the judges were counsel Haniff Khatri Abdulla and Deputy
Public Prosecutor Wong Chiang Kiat. The prosecutor did not object to the
In the petition containing the additional grounds, Ahmad Najib said the
Court of Appeal had declared the High Court judges grounds of judgment as
being of no help to the appellate court.
He said the appellate court, however, erred in not quashing the conviction
on the basis that the absence of a sound judgment meant that the finding
of guilt was not supported.
Ahmad Najib also complained that the Court of Appeal had gone on to
examine and assess the evidence adduced in the High Court and affirmed the
conviction instead of quashing it.
The Court of Appeal judges' actions amounted to starting a fresh trial and
that was null and void under the law, he said, adding that he should have
been freed from both charges.
On Feb 23, 2005, the Shah Alam High Court sentenced Ahmad Najib to death
for raping and murdering Ong, 28, at the 11th kilometre of Old Klang Road
between 1am and 5am on June 14, 2003.
On March 5 this year, the Court of Appeal dismissed his appeal and upheld
The Federal Court was supposed to hear Ahmad Najib's appeal against the
Court of Appeal's decision on Thursday but the matter was taken off the
list at the 11th hour.
According to Haniff Khatri the postponement was due to a request by the
The apex court ended up hearing only the application to put in the
(source: The Star)
Italy Abolishes Last Reference To Death Penalty in Its Constitution
The Italian Senate voted to abolish the last reference to capital
punishment in its constitution, one that allowed for its use in cases of
Yesterday's vote of 231 for, 1 against, and 4 abstentions, comes a day
after Prime Minister Prodi spoke before the U.N. General Assembly in favor
of a worldwide ban on capital punishment. Though Italy bans the death
penalty, as in the rest of the European Union, the constitution allowed
for its possible use during wartime.
The decision "officially completes our country's abolitionist course,"
Amnesty Italia said in a statement. The decision also excludes any
possibility of reintroducing the death penalty in Italy, Amnesty Italia
Mr. Prodi yesterday said the European Union's initiative to ban the death
penalty worldwide is a "difficult battle" because influential countries,
including America and China, still use it. China last year carried out
more than 5,000 executions, while America put 53 people to death, more
than any other nation considered a liberal democracy, according to a
report last month by lobbyist group Hands Off Cain.
Italy is staunchly against the use of capital punishment. Rome's Coliseum
has become a symbol for human rights and ending the practice worldwide.
The 2,000-year old amphitheater originally used for gladiator fights is
lit up whenever a country abolishes capital punishment or commutes a death
sentence. The death penalty was abolished in Italy in 1948.
(source: Bloomberg News)
Council of Europe declares Oct. 10 European anti-death penalty day despite
Europe's leading human rights watchdog on Thursday declared Oct. 10 as the
European day against the death penalty, despite opposition from Poland,
which has blocked a similar initiative by the European Union.
The 47-nation Council of Europe has fought for abolition of the death
penalty since the organization was founded in 1949. Capital punishment is
not allowed in Europe, and no execution has been carried out on the
continent since 1997.
Last week, Poland clashed with its EU counterparts over the proposal to
hold an anti-death penalty day, demanding that it is linked to a wider
debate on abortion and euthanasia, which are both illegal in the deeply
Roman Catholic country.
But while the 27 EU countries - all of which are also Council of Europe
members - needed unanimity to commemorate the day, the Council of Europe
decided by a qualified majority, meaning it didn't need Poland's accord.
Poland did not take part in the vote, while the other 46 countries
supported the idea to mark the anti-death penalty day, officials said.
Abolition of the death penalty is one of the cornerstones of the European
Convention on Human Rights, an international human rights treaty binding
on all Council of Europe members, and a key condition of membership of the
organization. Poland eliminated the death penalty in 1997 and says it has
no plans to reintroduce it.
About 70 countries worldwide still carry out the death penalty.
(source: Associated Press)
Hard to argue against death penalty for terrorists: PM
Prime Minister John Howard says his stance against the death penalty is
weakened when it comes to terrorists.
John Howard has been a staunch opponent to the death penalty, but in
responding to a question from the audience during a community forum near
Geelong he said it is hard to argue against other countries' capital
punishment laws for terrorists.
"In cases where Australians have been murdered by terrorists, I find it
very, very hard to argue passionately against the application of a penalty
imposed by another country," he said.
(source: ABC News)
Many on Death Row Escape
49 detainees escaped from a recently renovated prison in the province of
Nord-Kivu in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, a prisowere
recaptured, said the prison director, Denis Katembo. All but 3 were
military prisoners, he said. A majority were death row criminals, a
prosecutor, Tupa Kamango, told the Okapi radio. The prison, in the Beni
territory, held around 60 detainees.
(source: Agence France-Presse)
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