Selangor Journal
The Federal Court in Putrajaya, on October 6, 2015. — Picture by REUTERS

Death sentence commuted, stall trader gets 35 years for killing man

KOTA BHARU, April 17 — A stall trader escaped the gallows today after the Federal Court commuted the death sentence to 35 years in prison for killing a man nine years ago.

A panel of three judges led by Chief Justice Tun Tengku Maimun Tuan Mat unanimously allowed the review filed by Mohamad Zulkifli Ismail, 59, under Section 302 of the Penal Code and Sections 2(4) and 3(1) of the Revision of Sentence of Death and Imprisonment for Natural Life (Temporary Jurisdiction of the Federal Court) Act 2023.

She set aside the death sentence handed down on Zulkifli by the Kuala Terengganu High Court on May 27, 2018, and ordered him to serve a 35-year jail term starting from the date of his arrest on December 7, 2015.

Zulkifli has been imprisoned for nine years.

Court of Appeal president Tan Sri Abang Iskandar Abang Hashim and Federal Court Judge Datuk Nordin Hassan also presided over the case.

The Kuala Terengganu High Court sentenced Zulkifli to death after finding him guilty under Section 302 of the Penal Code for killing a scrap metal collector, Zulkefle Abdullah, 37, at a house in Kampung Labohan, Kerteh, at 10.30am on December 7, 2015.

On October 25, 2021, he appealed against the decision, but the Federal Court upheld the death sentence.

Earlier, lawyer Mazlan Md Zain, appearing for Zulkifli, said the case facts indicated that the appellant was the victim because the incident occurred near his house.

However, Deputy Public Prosecutor Norzilati Izhani Zainal@Zainol requested the court to uphold the sentence because the crime committed is deemed too heinous as the victim was left to die at the scene.

The case went viral on social media, claiming that Zulkifli committed the act in self-defence to fend off a robbery.

A group named ‘Save Zulkifli’ was created on Facebook, amassing 71,000 followers and posting various negative statements questioning the police’s authority in arresting the accused.

The case is among the 28 reviews heard today during the Federal Court Session held at the Kota Bharu High Court, including cases from the East Coast states.

— Bernama

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