A 26-year-old Bangladeshi engineering student studying at a private university in Malaysia escaped the gallows after the country's Court of Appeal on Friday (26 November) set aside his conviction and death sentence for trafficking 3,875.66gm of cannabis four years ago.
A three-member panel led by Justice Datuk Hanipah Farikullah, ruled that there was merit in the appeal by Mohammad Habibul Hassan Khan and the prosecution had failed to prove the element of knowledge in the case, reports the Malay Mail.
Justice Hanipah in her judgment said although a bag containing the drugs was found in his hostel room, Mohammad Habibul, in his defence, had said that the bag belonged to another student by the name of Jawad.
"This student (Jawad), who stayed outside the university, committed suicide a day after the appellant was caught with the bag. The trial judge did not accept this evidence and merely brushed it aside as bare denial and afterthought," said Justice Hanipah who sat with Justices Datuk Che Mohd Ruzima Ghazali and Datuk Seri Mariana Yahya.
Justice Hanipah further said the trial judge committed an error in fact and law as the appellant's confession to his hostel warden Shazereen Kamaruddin could not be accepted as the trial judge did not ask the right questions.
"There was a misdirection as the judge failed to evaluate whether Mohammad Habibul did indeed make a confession to Shazereen," she said.
Mohammad Habibul had appealed against the decision of the Shah Alam High Court of sentencing him to death on 10 April, 2019, after he was found guilty of the charge of trafficking the drugs in his hostel room at the university in Semenyih, about 4 pm on 10 December, 2017.