Wednesday, December 1, 2021

18 years’ jail for students convicted of culpable homicide in death of cadet

They have been ordered to serve their sentence from the date of their arrests on June 1, 2017.

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The six students at the National Defence University of Malaysia (UPNM) found guilty of culpable homicide not amounting to the murder of UPNM cadet officer Zulfarhan Osman Zulkarnain four years ago today escaped the gallows but were sentenced to 18 years in jail by the Kuala Lumpur High Court.

The six are Muhammad Akmal Zuhairi Azmal, Muhammad Azamuddin Mad Sofi, Muhammad Najib Mohd Razi, Muhammad Afif Najmudin Azahat, Mohamad Shobirin Sabri and Abdoul Hakeem Mohd Ali.

Justice Azman Abdullah ordered them to serve their sentence from the date of their arrests on June 1, 2017.

Of the six accused, five were charged with the murder of Zulfarhan Osman under Section 302 of the Penal Code which carries the mandatory death penalty upon conviction, while Abdoul Hakeem was charged with abetting the murder under Section 109 of the same act, which carries a similar sentence.

The judge in his decision, however, said the court had found all of the accused guilty under Section 304 (a) of the Penal Code of causing injuries to the deceased with no intent of murder, which carries imprisonment of up to 30 years, with the possibility of a fine, upon conviction.

The court also sentenced the accused, except Shobirin, and their 12 friends after finding them guilty of injuring Zulfarhan. Shobirin was previously charged with the same offence but was acquitted of the charge at the end of the prosecution’s case.

The 12 others are Mohd Hafiz Fauzan Ismail, Mohamad Lukhmanul Hakim Mohd Zain, Ahmad Shafwan Berdal, Muhammad Amirul Asraff Mala, Luqman Hakim Shamsuri, Muhammad Sufi Mohd Mustapha, Noriznan Izzairi Noor Azhar, Muhamad Ashraf Abdullah, Muhammad Danial Firdaus Azmir, Muhammad Hasif, Muhammad Adib Iman and Mohamad Syazwan.

They were found guilty of deliberately injuring the victim to coerce a confession from him that he had stolen a laptop, as charged under Section 330 of the Penal Code.

Azman ordered the sentence for Akmal, Azamuddin, Najib, Afif dan Abdoul Hakeem for both the culpable homicide and injuring charges to run concurrently.

“Meanwhile, for the other 12 accused, the court hereby sentences them to three years’ jail starting today,” he said.

The judge however allowed a stay of execution of the jail sentence for the 12 accused pending their appeal.

Azman in his judgment said the jail sentence imposed on the accused was not only to provide a painful lesson, but also to create fear of punishment for others.

“If they are only punished with a good behaviour bond (as applied for by their lawyers), it will not have any impact on the people. Zulfarhan was their friend, but we also have to think about his parents and family.

“Looking at the body of the deceased, I cannot imagine the pain when the steam iron was pressed on his body, let alone on his sensitive parts. I don’t know how to categorise the perpetrators. They are like ruthless criminals.”

The judge also said he was saddened by the fact that all of the accused, who were on the path to becoming military officers, could no longer continue their studies at the university.

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