KUALA LUMPUR - Crying family members and friends of four men, sentenced to death for trafficking in more than 22kg of cannabis, rushed to hug them at the High Court yesterday.
An 8-year-old daughter of one of them was seen hugging her mother and wept uncontrollably while one of the accused, a student, was heard advising his friends to be careful and not end up like him.
Badrul Hisham Kamaruddin, 41, his brother Mohd Amirul Hisham Kamaruddin, 23, and their two friends, Syed Mohamed Anis Alkaff Syed Osman, 55, and Azahar Ali, 47, were given the death sentence for the offence committed more than three years ago.
The courtroom was packed with parents, relatives and friends of the four who came to hear the sentencing meted out by Judge Datuk Asmabi Mohamad.
The judge said she believed the evidence of two witnesses, who were the agent provocateurs in this case.
She added that the four did not challenge their testimonies in court.
She noted that in their defence, the brothers had brought up a person named "Jo", who allegedly was dealing with the two agent provocateurs for the sale of snakeskin.
The judge added that according to Amirul's defence, "Jo" allegedly owed him RM11,000 (S$4,400) after he lost a football bet and was going to sell snakeskin to pay him.
She said according to the brothers, they did not know what was discussed between "Jo" and the agents during three meetings, even though they went with "Jo" to the meetings.
She said the existence of "Jo" was in doubt as he was not produced in court.
Asmabi said she accepted the evidence of a prosecution witness, who testified that the drugs was transferred from the Volvo that was driven by Badrul to another car supplied by the agents.
As for the other two accused, from Kedah, the judge found that their defence that they had come from the north to see Badrul about purchasing a lorry, was made up.
After finding them guilty, the judge said: "My hands are tied.
"Under the law, I have to sentence the four of you to hang.
"Don't be upset.
"If I had made a mistake, it will be corrected by the higher courts."
The four were represented by laywers Nik Mohd Radhia, Kamaruzzaman Wahab, Surjan Singh and A.Nadarajan while deputy public prosecutor Wan Zuraida Wan Nawan appeared for the prosecution.
The four were charged with committing the offence in front of a factory in Subang New Village at about 4.20pm on Feb 21, 2009.
A total of 13 prosecution and five defence witnesses testified in the trial.