PUTRAJAYA: The Federal Court today upheld the conviction and death sentence of an unemployed man for killing three of his foster relatives.
The three-member bench, comprising Chief Justice Tengku Maimun Tuan Mat and Federal Court judges Harmindar Singh Dhaliwal and Abu Bakar Jais, held that there was no merit in Luqman Hadi Mustapa’s appeal.
Handing down the court’s unanimous decision, Tengku Maimun said that based on the totality of evidence, the court found that Luqman’s murder conviction was safe.
She also said the court did not want to alter the death sentence imposed on Luqman by the High Court and upheld by the Court of Appeal.
On Aug 16, 2019, the Melaka High Court sentenced Luqman, 33, to death after finding him guilty of murdering his foster mother’s sister Mariah Baharim, 61, her husband, Hassan A Wahab, 70, and their 22-year-old son Taufeq.
Luqman’s appeal was subsequently dismissed by the Court of Appeal on Aug 25 last year.
The High Court also found Luqman guilty of two charges of attempting to murder the couple’s daughters Noor Haslinda Diyana, 26, and Nur Aqedah Aeina, 24, and sentenced him to 10 years in prison, to run concurrently, for each charge. He did not appeal that decision.
He was accused of committing the offences at a house on Jalan Sidang Said in Bertam Malim, Melaka, between 5.50am and 6.15am on Aug 25, 2016.
During the trial at the High Court, 25 witnesses testified for the prosecution and when the court ordered Luqman to enter his defence, he opted to remain silent.
Lawyer Hazman Ahmad said High Court judge Ahmad Nasfy Yasin (who now sits in the Court of Appeal) erred when he rejected Luqman’s plea of insanity under Section 84 of the Penal Code, despite a psychiatrist’s report not disputing his defence.
Hazman also asked the court to consider commuting the death sentence to life imprisonment of between 30 years to 40 years in prison.
Deputy public prosecutor Khushairy Ibrahim, who was assisted by DPP Aida Khairuleen Azli, argued that Luqman relied on the psychiatrist’s report to show that he was under the influence of drugs at the time of the incident and that he did not know what he was doing.
However, Khushairy said there was no other evidence provided by the defence to support Luqman’s version of the incident.
He also urged the court to uphold the death sentence, saying that Luqman’s conduct was in blatant disregard of the sanctity of human life.