Thursday October 25, 2012
900 on death row for drug trafficking may get reprieve
Reports by MARTIN CARVALHO, YUEN MEIKENG AND RAHIMY RAHIM
SOME 900 Malaysians and foreigners on death row for drug trafficking may get a reprieve on their sentences pending a study to abolish the death penalty, said Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz.
“A proposal will be submitted to the Cabinet by next week to approve the moratorium on death sentences pending the outcome of a study by the Attorney-General’s Chambers to abolish the death penalty for those convicted under Section 52(1) of the Dangerous Drugs Act,” he told reporters here after meeting a delegation of Indonesian lawmakers from the Indonesian-Malaysian Caucus in Parliament House.
The 900 include 86 Indonesians, with 75 of them in jail for drug offences, nine for murder, one sentenced under the Kidnapping Act 1961 and another under the Firearms (Increased Penalties) Act 1971.
The cases of 75 Indonesian nationals sentenced to death for drug trafficking will be submitted to the Cabinet pending the final outcome of the Government’s review on the death sentences, Nazri said.
“We can’t have a holistic solution on the abolition of the death sentence. If we wait, by that time many of them may be hung,” he said.
Nazri also noted that imposing death sentences on drug mules may not be a proportionate punishment as opposed to that for murderers.
“How can we seek clemency for Malaysian drug mules sentenced to death in other countries when we hang their nationals here for such offences?” he added.