Published: Thursday September 20, 2012 MYT 2:23:00 PM
Chalet operator freed of drug possession charges
BY FARIK ZOLKEPLI
KEMAMAN: A resort operator escaped the life sentence after he was acquitted of more than six counts of possessing drugs without his defence being called.
Abdul Harris Fadillah, 49, was charged with planting five stalks of cannabis at his home in Jalan Kubang Kurus, Taman Muhibah, in Chukai, Kemaman on Dec 12, 2010.
He was also charged with seven counts of possessing cannabis, ketamine, heroin and other drugs at his home and on the same date.
It was previously reported that Abdul Harris was arrested in December 2010, along with his British wife Shivaun Patra Orton, 41, for drug trafficking after police raided their home.
The news received global attention as Orton is the daughter of prominent British nuclear physicist Mike Orton.
The couple had been married for 20 years and ran a backpacker chalet business in Cherating.
Orton served her sentence for minor drug possession charges and was freed in December last year.
Their plight even prompted Orton's family members to start a 'Save Shivaun Orton' campaign page on Facebook.
Judge Rofiah Mohamad on Thursday ruled that the prosecution failed to prove a prima facie case against Abdul Harris.
"The the accused do not have to enter his defence. I hereby ruled the accused is acquitted of all charges," she said.
Abdull Harris, who was accompanied by Orton was overwhelmed with happiness after he realised he was freed.