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[2013] 1 LNS 986

[2013] 1 LNS 986 Legal Network Series IN THE COURT OF APPEAL OF MALAYSIA (APPELLATE JURISDICTION)

Legal Network Series

IN THE COURT OF APPEAL OF MALAYSIA (APPELLATE JURISDICTION) [CRIMINAL APPEAL NO: P-05-306-2010]

BETWEEN

PUBLIC PROSECUTOR

OO BOON KHIM

AND

… APPELLANT

… RESPONDENTS

[In the matter of criminal reference no: 45-14-2008 In the High Court of Malaya in Penang]

Between

PUBLIC PROSECUTOR

And

OO BOON KHIM

CORUM:

AZAHAR BIN MOHAMED, JCA ROHANA BINTI YUSUF, JCA HAMID SULTAN BIN ABU BACKER, JCA

Hamid Sultan Bin Abu Backer, JCA (Delivering Judgment of The Court)

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[2013] 1 LNS 986

[2013] 1 LNS 986 Legal Network Series GROUNDS OF JUDGMENT [1] The prosecution’s appeal against the

Legal Network Series

GROUNDS OF JUDGMENT

[1] The prosecution’s appeal against the respondent in respect of the acquittal of a trafficking charge after the end of the defence case came up for hearing on 16-07-2013 and on the same day we heard the appeal and dismissed it. My learned brother Azahar bin Mohamed JCA and my learned sister Rohana binti Yusuf JCA have read the judgment and approved the same. This is our judgment.

[2] Two persons ie, the respondent (1 st accused) and one female by the name Ong Kooi Lan (2 n d accused) were charged for trafficking. The charge read as follows:

“Bahawa kamu bersama-sama pada 26.01.2007 jam lebih kurang 9.50 malam, bertempat di alamat No. 23, Lintang Batu Maung, Taman Iping, Bayan Lepas, di dalam Daerah Barat Daya, di dalam negeri Pulau Pinang, dengan niat bersama memperedarkan dadah berbahaya sejumlah berat 1465 gram (Heroin seberat 1180.3 gram dan Monoacetylmorphines seberat 284.7 gram) dan dengan itu kamu telah melakukan satu kesalahan di bawah Seksyen 39B(1)(a) Akta Dadah Berbahaya 1952 dan boleh dihukum di bawah Seksyen 39B(2) Akta yang sama dibaca bersama Seksyen 34 Kanun Keseksaan.”

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[2013] 1 LNS 986

[2013] 1 LNS 986 Legal Network Series [3] The 2 accused was acquitted and discharged at

Legal Network Series

[3]

The

2 nd

accused

was

acquitted

and

discharged

at

the

end

of

the

prosecution case. And the prosecution had preferred an appeal to the

Court of Appeal which appeal.

was struck

out

on

the date of hearing

of this

[4]

The respondent was asked to enter defence to an amended charge

which reads as follows:

“Bahawa kamu pada 26 Januari 2007 jam lebih kurang 9.50 malam, bertempat di alamat No. 23, Lintang Batu Maung, Taman Iping telah mengedar dadah berbahaya iaitu sejumlah berat 1465 gram dan dengan itu kamu telah melakukan satu kesalahan di bawah Seksyen 39B(1)(a) ADB yang boleh dihukum di bawah Seksyen 39B(2) Akta yang sama.”

[5]

At

the

end

of

the

defence

case

the

respondent

was

acquitted

and

discharged. Hence, this appeal by the prosecution.

 

Brief Facts

 

[6] Based on the information the police raided a house and found two persons ie, the respondent and the 2 n d accused and also found drugs and paraphernalia and also both were the sole occupiers of the house at the material time. What is important to note in this case is that on the same day and at the material time a person by the name of Sunny was also arrested outside the house when he was attempting to enter the house with a large quantity of chocolate coloured caffeine which is a component to enhance the quantity of the drugs. The prosecution did

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[2013] 1 LNS 986

[2013] 1 LNS 986 Legal Network Series not produce Sunny despite ‘Alcontara Notice’ having been given,

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not produce Sunny despite ‘Alcontara Notice’ having been given, to say the drugs belonged to Sunny. The learned trial judge has captured the evidence of the respondent at pages 56 and 57 which read as follows:

“Pada 26/01/2007 jam lebih kurang 9.50 malam semasa saya berada di alamat No. 23 Lintang Batu Maung, Taman Iping, Bayan Lepas saya telah ditangkap oleh polis. Pada masa dan hari tersebut pihak polis mengatakan mereka ada jumpa beberapa bungkusan di dalam rumah. (Peguam:

Gambar P717 (E) dirujuk kepada saksi). Saya tidak tahu apakah yang terkandung dalam bungkusan-bungkusan yang dijumpai itu. Sebelum saya ditangkap oleh polis, saya Nampak Sunny yang letakkan bungkusan-bungkusan itu disitu. Saya tidak pasti nama penuh Sunny kerana saya panggil dia Sunny. Dia adalah seorang lelaki Cina. Saya kenali Sunny kerana saya pernah membeli racun serangga daripada Sunny. Pada masa Sunny letakkan bungkusan- bungkusan itu di ruang dapur, saya tidak tahu bungkusan- bungkusan itu mengandungi dadah. Pada jam lebih kurang 9.50 malam, bila polis datang dan ketuk pintu saya telah membuka pintu seperti yang diarahkan. Polis ada masuk dan menggeledah rumah dan memeriksa bungkusan- bungkusan tersebut. Selepas memeriksa bungkusan- bungkusan tersebut, polis ada memberitahu saya bungkusan-bungkusan itu bukan kepunyaan saya tapi Sunny yang bawa masuk ke dalam rumah. Saya ada beritahu polis jika tidak percaya mereka boleh tunggu hingga Sunny sampai. Sunny ada ditangkap oleh pihak polis pada petang tersebut. Masa Sunny ditangkap dia ada

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[2013] 1 LNS 986

[2013] 1 LNS 986 Legal Network Series bawa bersama beberapa bungkusan. Sebelum tarikh kejadian, saya ada

Legal Network Series

bawa bersama beberapa bungkusan. Sebelum tarikh kejadian, saya ada selisih faham sedikit dengan Sunny kerana masalah wang. Barangan dalam bungkusan itu semuanya kepunyaan Sunny. Masa saya dibawa ke hadapan majistret untuk remand saya telah kata saya bersedia untuk mengakui atas kesalahan. Saya berbuat demikian untuk membantu OKT2, Ong Kooi Lan supaya dapat dilepaskan.”

[7]

The learned trial judge had considered the defence in the right

perspective and accepted the same to have created a reasonable doubt in his mind based on the principles stated in Radhi’s direction, and acquitted and discharged the same. However, the learned Deputy Public Prosecutor complains on the acquittal.

[8] The appellants’ Memorandum of Appeal inter alia reads as follows:

  • 1. Yang Arif Pesuruhjaya Kehakiman telah terkhilaf dari segi undang-undang dan fakta apabila memutuskan bahawa pihak pendakwaan telah gagal membuktikan kes melampaui keraguan yang munasabah di bawah Seksyen 39B(1)(a) Akta Dadah Berbahaya 1952 di akhir kes pembelaan sedangkan terdapat keterangan yang mencukupi dan kukuh untuk mensabitkan Responden terhadap keselahan.

  • 2. Yang Arif Pesuruhjaya Kehakiman

telah

terkhilaf

dari

segi

undang-undang dan fakta apabila memutuskan di mukasurat

7 7 , Re k o d Ra y u a n

Ji l i d

I,

p e r e n g g a n

[ 7 9 ],

b a ris

k e

9 ,

Kegagalan pihak pendakwaan memanggil Ng Sunny atau

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[2013] 1 LNS 986

[2013] 1 LNS 986 Legal Network Series membawa keterangan penyangkalan (rebuttal) bagi menjelaskan perkara ini telah

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membawa keterangan penyangkalan (rebuttal) bagi menjelaskan perkara ini telah menjadikan kes pendakwaan tercabar dan berjaya disangkal oleh tertuduh. Pihak pendakwaan mempunyai segala butiran ke atas penama Ng Sunny tetapi tidak terdapat apa-apa usaha yang efektif bagi mendapatkan Ng Sunny. Ng Sunny juga tidak ditawarkan kepada pihak pembelaan. Pihak pendakwaan juga tidak

mengemukakan percakapan dalam penyiasan di bawah seksyen 112 Kanun Tatacara Jenayah oleh Ng Sunny menurut seksyen 32(i) Akta Keterangan, 1950” sedangkan kes pendakwaan adalah lengkap dan terbukti tanpa perlu memanggil saksi ini. Oleh itu seksyen 114(g) Akta Keterangan 1950 tidak terpakai terhadap pihak pendakwaan.

  • 3. Yang Arif Pesuruhjaya Kehakiman telah terkhilaf dari segi undang-undang dan fakta apabila memutuskan di mukasurat 78, Rekod Rayhuan Jilid 1, baris ke 2

Mahkamah

... berpendapat kehadiran tertuduh di dalam rumah itu tidak memadai untuk mengatakan beliau mempunyai milikan ke atas

dadah tersebut. Tiada apa-apa ‘overt act” yang lain yang dapat melibatkan perlakuan tertuduh sebagai punyai pengetahuan ke atas dadah tersebut” yang mana kesimpulan tersebut bersalahan dengan fakta kes yang dibuktikan oleh pihak pendakwaan dalam kes ini.

  • 4. Yang Arif Pesuruhjaya Kehakiman telah terkhilaf dari segi undang-undang dan fakta apabila memutuskan di mukasurat 78, Rekod Rayuan Jilid 1, baris ke 7 dari bawah “Di dalam kes di hadapan Mahkamah ini satu-satunya keterangan yang

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[2013] 1 LNS 986

[2013] 1 LNS 986 Legal Network Series terdapat yang dikatakan sebagai “overt act” oleh TPR ialah

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terdapat yang dikatakan sebagai “overt act” oleh TPR ialah apabila tertuduh pertama ini dikatakan mengambil masa 5 minit untuk membuka pintu rumah setelah diketuk oleh SP7. Walau bagaimanapun, tiada keterangan di mana tertuduh-tertuduh berada dirumah itu semasa pintu diketuk dan oleh itu Mahkamah tidak boleh membuat inferens terhadapnya seperti yang dipohonkan oleh TPR yang bijaksana” sedangkan kesimpulan terebut bertentangan dengan prinsip undang- undang yang dinyatakan dalam kes Gunalan Ramachandran v. PP [2004] 4 CLJ 551.

  • 5. Yang Arif Pesuruhjaya Kehakiman telah terkhilaf dari segi undang-undang dan fakta apabila memutuskan di mukasurat 79, Rekod Rayuan Jilikd 1, Baris pertama. “Mahkamah juga di peringkat kes pendakwaan telah tidak menerima sebagai suatu “overt act” oleh kedua-dua tertuduh yang dikatakan berada dalam gementar dan ketakutan apabila terdapatnya polis di rumah itu, yang mana Mahkamah ini telah menjelaskannya di awal penghakiman ini” sedangkan ianya tertentangan dengan prinsip undang-undang yang diputuskan dalam kes Parlan bin Dadeh v. PP [2009] 1 CLJ 717.

[9] In the instant case the main issue is not whether there was a prima facie case at the end of the prosecution case but whether the defence had rebutted the charge of trafficking. In consequence the petition of appeal and the complaint raise has no merit. We will elaborate this issue further in the judgment.

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[2013] 1 LNS 986

[2013] 1 LNS 986 Legal Network Series [10] It is now well settled that the threshold

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[10] It is now well settled that the threshold requirement to rebut the charge of trafficking is low, as propounded by a number of cases which had considered Radhi’s direction as well as the case of Sochima Okoye v. Public Prosecutor [1995] 1 MLJ 538. [see Rozmi bin Yusof v. PP [2013] 4 CLJ 384; Ahmad Mukammal bin Abdul Wahab & ors v. PP [2013] 4 CLJ

949].

[11] As long as the story of the accused is not inherently incredible the court has to test the story with that of the prosecution and if it creates a reasonable doubt in the mind of the judge it is sufficient to earn an acquittal. The test whether the story is capable of being accepted as not being inherently incredible must necessarily be one that demonstrates ‘plausible explanation’ to earn an acquittal. The ‘plausible explanation’ proposition was advocated as early as 1981, in the Privy Council decision of Ong Ah Chuan v. PP [1981] 1 MLJ 64 where Lord Diplock had this to say:

“Proof of the purpose for which an act is done, where such purpose is a necessary ingredient of the offence with which an accused is charged, presents a problem with which criminal courts are very familiar. Generally, in the absence of an express admission by the

accused, the purpose with which he did an act is a matter of inference

from

what he did.

Thus,

in

the

case of an accused

caught in

the act

of

conveying from one place to another controlled drugs in a quantity much larger than is likely to be needed for his own consumption the inference that he was transporting them for the purpose of trafficking in them would, in the absence of any plausible explanation by him , be irresistible - even if there were no statutory presumption such as is contained in section 15 of the Drugs Act.” (emphasis added).

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[2013] 1 LNS 986

[2013] 1 LNS 986 Legal Network Series [12] In the instant case there was no direct

Legal Network Series

[12]

In

the instant

case

there

was no

direct

nexus

to

the

drugs

and the

respondent. And very importantly there was no evidence incriminating

the respondent except the fact that he was the occupier where the drugs were found. The learned Deputy Public Prosecutor’s argument of knowledge, exclusivity, overt act, etc.; and reliance of cases such as PP v. Abdul Rahman bin Akif [2007] 4 CLJ 337, PP v. Denish Madhavan

[2009]

2

CLJ 209,

etc.

are good only

to establish a

prima facie case.

Once the defence is called all the above cases actually become redundant and the sole issue for the court to determine is whether there was ‘plausible explanation’ by the accused to create a reasonable doubt in the prosecution’s case to earn an acquittal and satisfy the court that the defence has rebutted the charge of trafficking . (emphasis added).

[13] When the sole issue is in relation to the accused defence, the petition of appeal of the prosecution must actually demonstrate where and how the learned judge failed in the assessment of the defence case. In the instant case the petition of appeal has failed to address the issue and in consequence it is fatal.

[14] Sunny was not made available as a witness and the defence story was placed at the earliest opportunity and the prosecution has not made any attempt to rebut the defence version as advocated in Alcontara a/l Ambross v. PP [1996] 1 CLJ 705. [See Munuswamy Sundar Raja v. PP [2013] 5 MLJ 48]. Taking the factual matrix of the case as a whole and the abundance of case law on the issues raised in the petition any reasonable tribunal properly directed in our considered view will have come to the same conclusion as that of the learned judge.

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[2013] 1 LNS 986

[2013] 1 LNS 986 Legal Network Series [15] It is well settled that it is in

Legal Network Series

[15] It is well settled that it is in the hands of triers of facts to assess the quality of evidence and to determine whether the evidence on record

justifies

a

conviction

as

well

as

sentence.

We

have

perused the

evidence in detail and we are satisfied that the view taken by the trial

court on the relevant issues in our view was a reasonable view of the evidence on record, and the court had followed Radhi’s direction and rightly applied the maximum evaluation and beyond reasonable test and acquitted the respondent.

[16]

We

are

of

the

considered

view

it

is

a

safe

decision and appellate

intervention is not warranted and the appeal has no merit. Accordingly

we dismiss the appeal.

We hereby order so.

Dated: 27 SEPTEMBER 2013

(HAMID SULTAN ABU BACKER)

Judge Court of Appeal Malaysia

Note:

Grounds

adjustment etc,.

of

Judgment

subject

to

correction

of

error

and

editorial

For the appellant - Ahmad Bachee

Timbalan Pendakwa Raya Jabatan Peguam Negara Putrajaya.

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[2013] 1 LNS 986

[2013] 1 LNS 986 Legal Network Series For the respondent - Ameenuddin Ibrahim; Ms Ameen Harbhajan

Legal Network Series

For the respondent - Ameenuddin Ibrahim; Ms Ameen Harbhajan & Co

Kuala Lumpur.

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