Death row inmate gets discharge for drug possession

GEORGE TOWN: A man waiting in solitary confinement to be hanged for murder at the Seberang Perai prison here has been given a discharge by the High Court for drug possession.

Judicial commissioner Ahmad Shahrir Mohd Salleh gave Roslan Husain, 51, who claimed trial to an amended charge of possessing 9.25g of heroin and monoacetylmorphine, a discharge not amounting to an acquittal.

Roslan was accused of possessing the drugs in his cell in Block Damai, Seberang Perai Prison, at about 3am on March 8, 2016.

He was initially charged with trafficking 19.77g of the drugs in his prison cell, an offence carrying the death penalty upon conviction.

“Since this is now a case that falls under Section 12(2) of the Dangerous Drugs Act 1952 (for drug possession), the High Court will not continue hearing this case,” said the judge.

Roslan was represented by K Simon Murali and Kok Yuen Lin, while deputy public prosecutor Emma Syafawati Abdul Wahab prosecuted.

Roslan was sentenced to death after being convicted of murder by the High Court in 2010.

His subsequent appeals to the Court of Appeal and the Federal Court were rejected, and he has been on death row ever since. He is currently awaiting a decision on his petition for a pardon from the Yang di-Pertuan Agong.

According to the facts sheet, checks by prison warders in Roslan’s prison cell found the drugs concealed in a toilet bowl, at the back of the room and in a rear corridor.