Chief cook’s life imprisonment set aside, jailed 15 years for drug trafficking

Chief cook’s life imprisonment set aside, jailed 15 years for drug trafficking

PUTRAJAYA: A 34-year-old chief cook today succeeded in his appeal to overturn his life imprisonment on two charges of drug trafficking imposed by a High Court.

Noel Harry Hungan, however, will have to serve 15 years in jail, to run from his date of arrest on May 10, 2016, and to be caned 10 times after the Court of Appeal substituted the first charge of trafficking in 2,811 grammes of cannabis to one of possession.

The Sabahan, a chef at a Western Food outlet, was acquitted and discharged on the second charge of trafficking in 3,768 grammes of cannabis.

The decision was delivered by the three-member panel of the Court of Appeal comprising Justices Datuk Abdul Karim Abdul Jalil, Datuk P. Ravinthran and Datuk Abu Bakar Jais in allowing Hungan’s appeal to set aside his conviction and life imprisonment for drug trafficking.

Hungan was charged with trafficking in the drugs at the Kota Kinabalu Post Office and at the AirAsia Cargo area in Kota Kinabalu on May 10 and May 11, 2016 respectively.

The Kota Kinabalu High Court, on March 29, 2018, convicted him on the two drug trafficking charges and sentenced him to life imprisonment, as well as to be caned 15 times for each charge, prompting him to appeal to the Court of Appeal.

Under the amended Section 39B (2) of the Dangerous Drug Act 1952 which came into force on March 15, 2018, a person found guilty of the drug trafficking offence shall be punished with death sentence or imprisonment for life, and shall be punished with whipping of not less than 15 strokes if he is not sentenced to death.

The Court of Appeal also dismissed the prosecution’s appeal against the jail sentence. It sought for death sentence to be imposed on Noel.

Hungan was represented by lawyer Datuk Seri K. Rakhbir Singh, while deputy public prosecutor Eyu Ghim Siang appeared for the prosecution.-Bernama