PUTRAJAYA: An engineer who sold cannabis oil to treat cancer patients escaped the gallows today after the Federal Court allowed his appeal on two counts of trafficking.
However, the three-member bench chaired by Chief Justice Tengku Maimun Tuan Mat upheld Muhammad Lukman Mohamad’s guilt under Section 9 of the Dangerous Drugs Act (DDA).
“There is a failure by the prosecution to prove the weight of the drugs and the conviction cannot be sustained,” said Tengku Maimun in an open court proceeding. Judges Mohd Zawawi Salleh and Harmindar Singh Dhaliwal were the other two members on the panel.
Lukman, 31, was sentenced to five years on each count of possession, to run concurrently, meaning he will only serve five years.
The penalty under this provision is a maximum of five years jail and/or fine of up to RM20,000 or both.
The Shah Alam High Court in August 2018 had found Lukman guilty on three charges of trafficking 3,010mm of delta 9 Tetrahydrocannabinol (cannabis extract), 1,422g of delta 9 Tetrahydrocannabinol and 279.81g of cannabis.
He was accused of committing the offences at a house in Bandar Mahkota, Banting on Dec 7, 2015.
His case had been highlighted by many, with even former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad saying there was a need to review Lukman’s drug charges. A petition was also launched calling for his release.
Last year, the Court of Appeal upheld the death sentence on the first two charges but reduced the third to possession.
In its judgment, the appeals court judge Zabariah Mohd Yusof said there was no evidence from the authorities to prove that marijuana had medicinal properties to treat patients with cancer.
For the third charge, the appellate court imposed a seven-year jail term and 10 strokes of the rotan.
Lukman only appealed to the apex court against the conviction for trafficking.
Lawyer Hisyam Teh Poh Teik said his client would be freed from the Maran jail after a prison official completes administering the rotan.
“If not for the whipping, he should be freed immediately as the seven-year jail term has been completed, with a one-third remission,” he told FMT after the proceeding.
Earlier Hisyam, who was assisted by Kee Wei Lon, submitted today that the prosecution could not prove the weight and volume of the drugs as stated in the charge sheet.
“Exhibits were improperly tendered in the High Court as it was done in the absence of the trial judge,” Hisyam said.
The lawyer also said Lukman’s should not have been charged under the act (DDA) as he had only sold them for medicinal purposes.