Fairness Of Court Judgements Come Into Question


Why were they even charged with murder in the first place? This was self defense. Where was the premeditation (mens rea?) to commit murder or to kill someone?

OutSyed the Box

They say the law is an ass. Looking at some of the judgements being passed by our Courts, maybe some of the Judges are asses too. There must be consistency and fairness in how sentences are meted out.

Yesterday the case of the two Indonesian brothers (who are only 22 and 20 years old) who were sentenced to hang for causing the death of a violent robber who broke into their room and then attacked them attracted my attention. I thought it was strange (and grossly unfair) that the victims of a violent robber  who were startled from sleep and had to defend themselves would be sentenced to death. 

What were they supposed to do? Wait for the robber to kill them first?  

First here is a gist of the story from The Star.

  • SHAH ALAM: Two Indonesian brothers sent to gallows by High Court after found guilty of murdering burglar.
  • Frans Hiu, 22, and Dharry Frully Hiu, 20, were charged with common intention in the murder of 26-year-old R. Khartic at a shophouse in Sepang on Dec 3, 2010.
  • witness saw Khartic break the back entrance after he failed to break front door.
  • entered ceiling and fell into room where brothers and co-worker sleeping.
  • The burglar then attacked the men 
  • Frans overpower Khartic by gripping him from behind until he stopped moving. 
  • After realising that Khartic had become still, the brothers ran out of the unit.
  • In her brief judgment, Justice Nurchaya Arshad ruled that the prosecution had successfully proven the case beyond reasonable doubt and sentenced the men to death.
  • The brothers were the only ones who testified in their own defence.

What is the meaning of  – “in her brief judgement”?   How brief is brief? Two human beings are being deprived of their lives.  I certainly hope the Court gave more substantial  consideration than just a ‘brief judgement’.

Then  today it was more encouraging to read that a few organisations had spoken up against this sentence of death. We thank Allah that there are people who have more conscience in our country.  Again here is The Star :

Groups: Review death sentence
  • PETALING JAYA: groups calling for judicial review death sentence on two Indonesian charged with killing burglar.
  • National Crime Prevention Foundation vice-chairman Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye said the sentence was too extreme 
  • implications on the way people react to their own personal safety and security.
  • Lee said incident involved illegal entry into building motivated by criminal intent.
  • “normal for the occupants to react spontaneously to intruder who pose danger to them,” 
  • Bar Council VP said death sentence unwarranted.
  • “People have a right to self defence in life-threatening situations,” 
  • Gasing Indah Rukun Tetangga chairman Eric Chew described judgment as shocking.  “People right to self defence has now come into question.”
  • TTDI Resident Association chairman Mohd Hatim Abdullah said a judicial review was necessary in view of the need for self-defence.

I agree with Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye, the Rukun Tetangga people and the VP of the Bar Council. It is quite ridiculous. Why were they even charged with murder in the first place? This was self defense. Where was the premeditation (mens rea?) to commit murder or to kill someone?

The three guys were inside their room. A burglar tries to break in, first through the front door, then through the back door. He finally climbs through the ceiling and falls into the room. There is so much determination – the burglar really wanted to break in. Then he attacks the three occupants of the room. One of the occupants runs away. The other two defend themselves, there is a struggle, a fight and the robber dies. Now the robbery victims are sentenced to death?