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Federal Court upholds ex-cendol seller’s 10-year prison sentence

Federal Court upholds ex-cendol seller’s 10-year prison sentence

PUTRAJAYA, Sept 26 — The Federal Court today upheld the 10-year prison sentence against a former cendol seller for nine offences, including the possession and distribution of items related to Daesh terrorists and providing support to the group, six years ago.

A three-judge panel led by Chief Justice of Malaya Tan Sri Mohamad Zabidin Mohd Diah reached a unanimous decision in rejecting the final appeal of Nahzatulazran A. Rahman, 44, against his prison sentence.

“We find that the Court of Appeal’s sentence meted out to you is not too severe that it requires the intervention of this court. Therefore, the appellant’s (Nahzatulazran) appeal is denied and the Court of Appeal sentence imposed is upheld,” said Judge Mohamad Zabidin sitting with Federal Court Judges Datuk Mary Lim Thiam Suan and Datuk Abu Bakar Jais.

On February 5, 2021, the Kuala Lumpur High Court sentenced Nahzatulazran to 16 years in prison after finding him guilty of nine Daesh-related charges. However, on July 18, 2022 the Court of Appeal reduced the sentence to 10 years.

He faced three charges of supporting the Daesh by promoting the terrorist group through the distribution of flags, and giving white and light green cloths with Jawi writing to three individuals.

The three charges were framed under Section 130J (1)(a) of the Penal Code, which carries a life sentence or maximum of 30 years in prison or fine and subject to the seizure of any property used or intended to be used to commit the offence.

Another two charges were of possessing items related to Daesh, including one white flag, two boards with Arabic engravings, two picture frames, photographs and videos related to the terrorist group, under Section 130JB(1)(a) of the Penal Code, which carries a seven-year prison sentence or a fine and liable to the confiscation of said items.

The final four charges of distributing items related to Daesh, involved distributing a green flag with black writing, four black flags and two pieces of white and green cloth with Jawi writing to several individuals, under Section 130JB(1)(b) of the Penal Code which carries a maximum prison sentence of 30 years and subject to a fine.

All the nine offences were committed at several locations, including a village in Melaka Tengah and at a house in Kepong here, from January to September 2017.

Earlier during the proceedings, deputy public prosecutor Tetralina Ahmed Fauzri submitted that the appeal be rejected and for the 10-year prison sentence against Nahzatulazran to be maintained.

“The expert witness testimony showed a video related to the possession of items and Daesh group prisoners, while the testimony of the protected witness stated that the appellant had asked him for RM500 to enable him to join the said group in the Philippines,” she said.

The appellant’s lawyer, Usha Kulasegaran from the National Legal Aid Foundation, said her client was only appealing against the prison sentence and proposed for a term not exceeding seven years.

“My client has been in prison for nearly six years and is expected to be released on May 10, 2024, but he still intends to pursue the appeal to have the sentence reduced,” she said, adding that the appellant has two children, aged 13 and 15.