Three Friends Sentence to Life, 10 Strokes for Kidnapping Businessman

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Trio escape death sentence for kidnapping a contractor in Melaka six years ago.

Kamaruzaman Mohamed Shah, 40, Sulaiman Abdul Kadir, 37, and Farrezuwan Mohd, 29, were found guilty of kidnapping Tan Tiang See, who was then aged 39, with the intent of obtaining RM500,000 in ransom on February 2011.

Judge Datuk Zulkifli Bakar handed down the sentence after counsels for the accused had failed to prove reasonable doubt in the prosecution’s case at the end of the defence case yesterday.

Kamaruzaman, a businessman, Sulaiman, who works in a photocopy company, and factory worker Farrezuwan, were charged with two others with kidnapping Tan in front of a warehouse at Cheng Industrial Estate at about 6pm on Feb 14, 2011.

The five were originally charged and released by the Melaka High Court on December 2015 when the court found that the prosecution failed to prove a prima facie case.

However, the prosecution appealed against the decision and the Court of Appeal overturned the High Court’s decision last year, stating that the prosecution had proved its case against the accused beyond reasonable doubt with regard to the amended charge under Section 3(1) of the Kidnapping Act 1961, read together with Section 34 of the Penal Code.

The other two suspects went missing before the appeal was heard.

Deputy public prosecutor Muhammad Syaiful Akmal Mohd Razi urged the court to hand down a deterrent sentence as the accused were habitual offenders and had attempted to kidnap another victim on Jan 29, 2011, using the same modus operandi.

“Pertaining to this case, they had pre-planned it and were determined to kidnap the victim even though the victim offered his wallet in exchange for his release.

“They also tied his hands and legs up, punched him and abandoned him at the toilet of a homestay overnight before members of the public heard his screams and rescued him,” the deputy prosecutor said.

Lawyers Chong Joo Tian, KA Ramu and Mak Kah Keong appealed for life in prison instead of the death sentence as their clients did not cause serious physical injury to the victim.

In delivering his verdict, Zulkifli said he had chosen not to apply a death sentence as the accused did not receive the ransom money and had taken into consideration that no serious injury or harm had befallen the victim.

“However, the court views this as a serious offence and does not condone such an act,” he said.