PUTRAJAYA: A former lorry driver on death row was among seven men who saw their death sentences commuted to 30 years’ jail under the temporary jurisdiction accorded to the Federal Court by law.
A three-member review panel chaired by Chief Justice Tengku Maimun Tuan Mat allowed Teh Hock Leong’s application under the Revision of the Sentence of Death and Imprisonment for Natural Life (Temporary Jurisdiction of the Federal Court) Act 2023.
Also on the panel were Chief Judge of Malaya Zabidin Diah and Federal Court judge Nordin Hassan.
Teh was arrested at KLIA on June 27, 1999 for trafficking 580.3g of methamphetamine.
He was remanded in prison pending trial as those accused of an offence carrying the death sentence were not allowed bail.
On Sept 15, 2003, the Shah Alam High Court convicted Teh and imposed the mandatory death sentence on him.
Teh, who is married to a Thai national, failed in his final appeal before the Federal Court on Oct 23, 2009.
He had been on death row for the past 20 years.
Others who had capital punishments replaced with jail terms were Thai nationals, Ouseng Same-Ae, 54, and Mama Sobri Useng, 52.
Ouseng has been in prison since Jan 10, 2002, and Mama Sobri since Nov 8, 2001.
Locals who got the maximum 30 years’ imprisonment term were Salleh Yunos, 52, Wan Marzuki Wan Abdullah, 46, Wan Azman Hassan, 50, and Nazzarimi Sahib, 46.
Wan Marzuki and Nazzarimi will also be whipped 12 times as they are below the age of 50.
Meanwhile, Ghazalee Kasim, 53, Junaidi Hussein, 52, Zulkipli Arshad, 48, and Wan Yuriilhami Wan Yaacob, 60, had their natural life imprisonment terms replaced with life imprisonment of 30 years.
The four had been sentenced to death by the Federal Court but filed for clemency before the Pardons Board which had their punishments commuted to natural life jail terms.
They then filed a review to the Federal Court following amendments to the law which give the courts the option to substitute a natural life jail term with an imprisonment term.
Deputy public prosecutors Dusuki Mokhtar and Yusaini Amer Abdul Karim did not object to the applications.
Lawyers said that those convicted were likely to be freed as they have been in prison between 21 and 24 years.
“Taking into account the one-third remission for good behaviour in prison, they should be freed,” said lawyer Guok Ngek Seong, who appeared with counsel Hisyam Teh Poh Teik for Teh.