16 Apr MALAYSIA CASE STUDY: REZA MOHAMMED SHAH BIN AHMAD SHAH
Reza Mohammed Shah Bin Ahmad Shah, known as Reza Shah, was arrested by police on the evening of 14 August 2000 in a squatter neighbourhood outside Kuala Lumpur. Police said he was carrying a plastic bag which he threw away when they called out to him. Police located the plastic bag and said it contained almost 800g of cannabis. Reza Shah denied any knowledge of the bag’s contents and stated in court that the police had beaten him to force him to reveal its location.
After arrest, Reza Shah was held at Brickfields Police District Headquarters, a police station which has been the subject of repeated allegations of torture and other ill-treatment. Reza Shah was detained pending trial for two years and finally tried in August 2002. He was found guilty by the High Court of Kuala Lumpur of possessing 795.3g of cannabis under the Dangerous Drugs Act 1952….
In the case of Reza Shah, once the trial court found that he possessed drugs in the alleged quantities, the law as it stood at that time left the court with no discretion but to convict him of trafficking and then to hand down the mandatory death sentence.
In 2006, the Putrajaya Appeal Court overturned the trial court’s verdict. It held that the prosecution had not proved that Reza Shah had knowledge of the bag’s contents. It convicted him for possession of drugs only but not of trafficking, and sentenced him to a jail term of 18 years and 10 strokes of the cane. In January 2009, the Federal Court overturned the Appeal Court’s judgement in response to an appeal by the prosecution, concluding that Reza Shah had failed to prove that he was not guilty of drug trafficking. It reinstated the death sentence. Reza Shah has exhausted all his legal avenues for appeal. He has since appealed to the King to commute his sentence. A decision is pending.
ADPAN: When Justice Fails – Thousands executed in Asia after unfair trials, (2011), p22 (https://adpandotnet.files.wordpress.com/2011/11/adpan-unfair-trials-asa-010232100-final-pdf.pdf)