Friday, March 02, 2007

Judge unhappy over flaw in probe (Star)

Judge unhappy over flaw in probe

IPOH: A High Court judge set aside a jail sentence of eight months and a stroke of the rotan imposed on a Pakistani worker for entering the country illegally.

It was revealed that Imran Wa-hid, 21, did have a valid passport when Rela personnel detained him and his Pakistani friend at a house in Pasir Berdamar on Jan 25.

Yesterday, Deputy Public Prose-cutor Aiza Khairuddin told the court that Imran’s Malaysian relative Pirgul Sahi Mohamad later produced the passport at the Langkap immigration detention depot.

DPP Aiza asked the court to re-view the conviction and sentence imposed by the Sessions court in Langkap on Feb 7.

Justice V.T. Singham then questioned how the Deputy Public Pro-secutor’s office could sanction charging Imran without establishing whether the investigation had been complete.

“Did the immigration office carry out a thorough investigation, such as determining whether his travel documents had been with his employer or with his relatives?

“The DPP should not simply issue the sanction in a mechanical fashion,” he said.

Justice Singham also expressed displeasure on learning that immigration investigating officer Syed Azman Mohamad Raza had failed to provide a Hindi interpreter for Imran when the officer interrogated him.

“This is a very serious flaw in the investigation. The Sessions judge himself cannot be blamed for the conviction as he based his decision on Imran’s plea of guilty,” he added.

Justice Singham then ordered Syed Azman to determine the number of foreigners who had been convicted for similar offences, only to learn that they had valid documents.

He then quashed the conviction and set aside Imran’s jail sentence and whipping.

Earlier Imran, through a Hindi interpreter, had told the court that he had been frightened when he pleaded guilty to the charge in Langkap on Feb 7.

No comments: