JOHOR BARU: Four Taiwanese men were acquitted of trafficking 43kg of nimetazepam (drug sold as Ecstasy pills) by a High Court here.
The four – Chung Sheng Wen, 37, Chang Yen Ming, 36, Chang Yung Sheng, 32, and Wu Sheng Yuan, 32, – were initially charged on April 3 last year with trafficking 1,439kg of the drug (under the brand name Erimin 5) at a factory in Jalan Angkasa Emas 6 in the Tebrau 2 industrial area here on March 22 last year.
However, the charge was later amended to trafficking amounting to manufacturing 43kg of nime*tazepam under Section 39B of the Dangerous Drug Act 1952, which carries the mandatory death sentence.
The prosecution, led by DPP Umar Saifuddin Jaafar, had argued that the four accused, who were arrested at the factory, were involved in trafficking and manufacturing the drugs.
However, lawyers Naran Singh and G.K. Sritharan countered by stating that the accused were staying on the top floor of the factory, without knowledge of any illegal activity.
“The prosecution is relying on circumstantial evidence.
“There is no direct link to prove these men owned the equipment or even knew about the activity,’ said Naran, adding that the prosecution had also failed to call upon key witnesses, like the factory’s security guard and the person who rented the factory.
“Furthermore, at the time of arrest, they were upstairs and not downstairs in the factory,” he said.
Judicial Commissioner M. Gunalan ruled that the prosecution had failed to prove a prima facie case.
“The prosecution also failed to prove a direct link between the accused and the equipment or other evidence seized from the premises.
“Therefore, the accused are acquitted of the charges against them,” he said.
Tuesday December 28, 2010
By FARIK ZOLKEPLI
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Four Taiwanese walk free after prosecution fails to prove prima facie case