S. Pragasam (c)

13 February 2018 :

Three men have been sentenced to death recently in Malaysia for drug trafficking.
On February 8, the Kuala Lumpur High Court sentenced two friends to death by hanging after finding them guilty of trafficking 123.052kg of drugs three years ago. Judge Azman Abdullah handed down the sentence on Ong Cheng Yaw, 33, and San Kim Huat, 38, after finding that they had failed to raise reasonable doubts against the prosecution’s case.
The prosecution succeeded in establishing its case beyond reasonable doubts on the four charges made against the two men, he said.
Ong, a sales promoter, and San, a nightclub DJ, were jointly charged with trafficking various types of drugs, comprising 95.016kg of methamphetamine, 26.791kg of methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA-ecstasy) and ketamine in 1.245kg.
The offence was committed at a house in Jalan Denai Selatan, Desa Park City, Kepong, at  6.25pm on May 12, 2015.
Ong and San, represented by lawyer Hariharan Tara Singh, were charged under Section 39B(1) of the Dangerous Drugs Act 1952, which provides the mandatory death sentence upon conviction.
Deputy public prosecutor Zalina Awang@Mamat prosecuted in the case.
On February 9, the High Court sentenced to death by hanging S. Pragasam after he was found guilty of trafficking in drugs two years ago. S. Pragasam, 30, was also sentenced to eight years' jail for drug possession. Judicial Commissioner Anselm Charles Fernandis handed down the sentence after finding that Pragasam had failed to raise reasonable doubts against the prosecution case.
However, he allowed a stay of the sentence pending an appeal at the Court of Appeal.
On the drug trafficking charge, Pragasam was charged with trafficking in 101.2 gm of heroin and 8.9 gm of Monoacetylmorphines at Taman Puteri Lindungan at about 7.30 pm on May 11, 2016.
In 2018, 10 people have been sentenced to capital punishment in Malaysia, despite the Dangerous Drugs Amendment Act 2017 has abolished mandatory death penalty for drug crimes.
According to Malaysian Against Death Penalty and Torture (MADPT) the Dangerous Drugs (Amendment) Bill 2017 was passed by the Dewan Rakyat (House of Representatives)  on 30/11/2017, and by the Dewan Negara (Senate) on 14/12/2017. Royal assent was received on 27/12/2017, making this now an Act of Parliament, but sadly, it only will come into operation on a date to be appointed by the Minister by notification in  the  Gazette.
Section 3(2) of Dangerous Drugs (Amendment) Act 2017 states, ‘(2) Any proceedings against any person who has been charged, whether or not trial has commenced or has been completed, and has not been convicted under section 39b of the principal Act by a competent Court before the appointed date, shall on the appointed date be dealt with by the competent Court and be continued under the provisions of the principal Act as amended by this Act.’
The new law does not provide any remedy to those already convicted and/or for the 800 or more currently on death row by reason of having been convicted for drug trafficking, according to Charles Hector a Malaysian Human Rights advocate and activist.
An urgent appeal is addressed by MADPT to the Ministry for an immediate publication of the law.


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