PUTRAJAYA: The Federal Court has fixed Feb 21 next year to hear a 22-year-old man’s appeal against his conviction for the murder of 23 people in a fire at the Darul Quran Ittifaqiyah tahfiz centre in Wangsa Maju, Kuala Lumpur, in 2017.
The man is being detained at the pleasure of the king following his High Court conviction on Aug 17, 2020, after he was found guilty of the murders. He was 16 years old at the time of the incident.
His lawyer, Haijan Omar, confirmed the date when contacted by Bernama.
Federal Court deputy registrar Mahyun Yusof fixed the hearing date during case management held today.
The man, together with another person still at large, was charged with murdering and causing the death of 23 people – 21 boys and two teachers – at the tahfiz centre on Jalan Keramat Hujung, Kampung Datuk Keramat, Wangsa Maju in Kuala Lumpur, between 4.15am and 6.45am on Sept 14, 2017.
He was charged with 23 counts of murder, according to the Penal Code, but was not sentenced to death due to the fact that he was below the age of 18 at the time of his arrest.
Section 97(1) of the Child Act 2001 stipulates that a death sentence shall not be pronounced or recorded against a person convicted of an offence if he or she is under the age of 18, and in lieu of the death sentence, as provided under Section 97(2) of the same law, the court shall order the person to be detained at the pleasure of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong.
On Sept 11 this year, the Court of Appeal upheld his conviction and sentence.
The appellate court also dismissed the prosecution’s appeal against the decision of the High Court in acquitting and discharging a third man, also 22, for the murder without ordering him to enter his defence. The man was 16 years old at the time of the incident.
The prosecution did not appeal this ruling.