Home > CaseLaws, Criminal Procedure Codes, Evidence Acts, Federal Constitutions > Tarmizi bin Yacob & Anor v Public Prosecutor and another appeal FEDERAL COURT (PUTRAJAYA) ARIFIN ZAKARIA CJ (MALAYA), RICHARD MALANJUM CJ (SABAH AND SARAWAK) AND JAMES FOONG FCJ CRIMINAL APPEAL NOS 05–37 OF 2004 (W) AND 05–38 OF 2004 (W) Federal Court:

Tarmizi bin Yacob & Anor v Public Prosecutor and another appeal FEDERAL COURT (PUTRAJAYA) ARIFIN ZAKARIA CJ (MALAYA), RICHARD MALANJUM CJ (SABAH AND SARAWAK) AND JAMES FOONG FCJ CRIMINAL APPEAL NOS 05–37 OF 2004 (W) AND 05–38 OF 2004 (W) Federal Court:

[2011] 4 MLJ 1
Tarmizi bin Yacob & Anor v Public Prosecutor and another appeal
FEDERAL COURT (PUTRAJAYA)

ARIFIN ZAKARIA CJ (MALAYA), RICHARD MALANJUM CJ (SABAH AND SARAWAK) AND JAMES FOONG FCJ

CRIMINAL APPEAL NOS 05–37 OF 2004(W) AND 05–38 OF 2004(W)

27 July 2010
Criminal Procedure — Prosecution — Consent of public prosecutor — Charge amended from s 39B(1)(a) to s 39B(1)(c) of the Dangerous Drugs Act 1952 — Amendment made by deputy public prosecutor at trial — Whether trial a nullity — Whether informer should have been called to testify — Whether appellants acted together with common intention in preparing sale of cannabis

The appellants in both the appeals herein were convicted under s 39B(1)(c) of the Dangerous Drugs Act 1952 (‘DDA’) and sentenced to death. Their appeal to the Federal Court was against the dismissal of their respective appeals to the Court of Appeal against conviction and sentence. Initially both appellants were charged under s 39B(1)(a) of the DDA but at the end of the prosecution’s case the deputy public prosecutor amended the charge to one under s 39B(1)(c), to wit, that they, in furtherance of a common intention, carried out an act preparatory to or for the purpose of trafficking in 2,996.4g cannabis.

The prosecution’s narration of the events was that a chief inspector of police (PW10), posing as a drug buyer, was introduced by his informer (‘Mud’) to the second appellant to discuss the purchase of cannabis. At the appointed time and place for the sale and purchase to take place PW10 met with both appellants. While PW10 and the second appellant waited, the first appellant went to get the drugs and returned in about 20 minutes carrying a bag from which the first appellant took out and showed the cannabis to PW10. PW10 signalled the police party that lay in ambush observing the proceedings. The appellants fled on seeing the police approaching; the first appellant throwing away the bag he was carrying as he fled. Both appellants were apprehended by the police after a brief struggle. In calling for their defence the trial court found as a fact that both appellants had a common intention in acting together to ensure the sale of the cannabis and that they had knowledge of the drugs as inferred from their attempts to resist arrest and escape the police party and the act of the first appellant in throwing away the bag containing the drugs. Their defence failed to cast any reasonable doubt on the prosecution’s case. In the Federal Court the appellants submitted that (i) the trial was a nullity because the public prosecutor had not consented to the charge being amended (ii) the prosecution ought to have called the informer ‘Mud’ to testify and/or offered him to the defence (iii) as the second appellant only negotiated the sale of the

4 MLJ 1 at 2

cannabis with PW10 and was never in possession of the drugs he was not involved in trafficking and (iv) as the first appellant did not participate in the negotiations or in the preparatory act but only had custody and control of the cannabis he should be found guilty of only possession and not trafficking.The prosecution replied that (i) consent to the amended charge was superfluous as the prosecution was conducted by a deputy public prosecutor (ii) Mud was not an agent provocateur but only an informer whose identity was protected by s 40 of the DDA. Mud merely introduced the second appellant to PW10 and did nothing else and (iii) the appellants acted together, with a common intention, to sell the cannabis to PW10.

Held, dismissing the appeals and affirming the appellants’ conviction and sentence:

  • (1)
    Consent of the public prosecutor to the amended charge was superfluous as the prosecution was conducted by the deputy public prosecutor in which case the consent of the public prosecutor was implicit in his actions and no further written consent of the public prosecutor was required:Garmaz s/o Pakhar & Anor v Public Prosecutor [1995] 3 SLR 701 followed. Public Prosecutor v Lee Chwee Kiok [1979] 1 MLJ 45 not followed (see paras 35 & 33).
  • (2)
    There was no necessity for the evidence of Mud in the narrative of the prosecution’s case. It was not disputed that the only role Mud played was to introduce PW10 to the second appellant. Just because Mud was known to the second appellant did not make him an agent provocateur (see para 43).
  • (3)
    In this case the trafficking was the sale of cannabis or the purchase of it by PW10. What transpired on the night of 5 April 1996 was the final chapter in the preparation of the trafficking of the drugs which constituted the supply and delivery of 3kg of the cannabis by the first appellant for the purpose of both the appellants jointly handing it over to PW10 in exchange for payment as earlier agreed. There was common intention to ensure the sale of the cannabis to PW10 (see paras 48 & 49).
  • (4)
    To constitute actual delivery it was not necessary that the agreed price had to be paid upon or before the physical delivery of the drugs. Here, the transaction was completed when the appellants produced the cannabis to PW10 and were only waiting for payment (see para 50).
  • (5)
    There was no misdirection in the evaluation of the evidence adduced or in the standard of proof applied by the trial judge in coming to his decision. Overwhelming evidence was adduced showing the roles played by the appellants to make the cannabis available to PW10 for purchase. The very act of each of them attempting to flee from the scene to avoid

    4 MLJ 1 at 3

    arrest by the police was a clear indication both of them knew what they were dealing in with PW10 (see paras 51 & 52).

Perayu-perayu di dalam kedua-dua rayuan telah disabitkan di bawah s 39B(1)(c) Akta Dadah Berbahaya 1952 (‘ADB’) dan telah dihukum mati. Rayuan mereka kepada Mahkamah Persekutuan adalah terhadap penolakan rayuan mereka masing-masing kepada Mahkamah Rayuan terhadap sabitan dan hukuman. Pada awalnya, kedua-dua perayu telah dituduh di bawah s 39B(1)(a) ADB tetapi pada akhir kes pihak pendakwaan timbalan pendakwa raya telah meminda tuduhan kepada satu yang tertakluk di bawah s 39B(1)(c), iaitu, bahawa mereka, sebagai lanjutan niat bersama, telah melakukan tindakan persediaan kepada atau bagi tujuan pengedaran 2,996.4g kanabis. Penceritaan kejadian pihak pendakwaan adalah bahawa ketua penyiasat polis (‘PW10’), menyamar sebagai pembeli dadah, telah diperkenalkan oleh pemberi maklumat (‘Mud’) kepada perayu kedua untuk berbincang tentang pembelian kanabis. Pada masa dan tempat yang ditetapkan bagi jual beli tersebut, PW10 bertemu dengan kedua-dua perayu. Sementara PW10 dan perayu kedua sedang menunggu, perayu pertama pergi mendapatkan dadah dan pulang selepas 20 minit membawa beg di mana perayu mengeluarkan dan menunjukkan kanabis kepada PW10. PW10 memberi isyarat kepada pihak polis yang sedang berselindung di dalam belukar dan memerhatikan prosiding tersebut. Perayu-perayu terus melarikan diri apabila melihat kedatangan polis; perayu pertama membuang beg yang dibawanya semasa dia melarikan diri. Kedua-dua perayu telah ditangkap oleh polis selepas pergelutan singkat. Dalam memanggil pembelaan mereka, mahkamah perbicaraan mendapati adalah fakta bahawa kedua-kedua perayu mempunyai niat bersama untuk bertindak bersesama untuk memastikan jualan kanabis dan bahawa mereka mempunyai pengetahuan tentang dadah tersebut melihatkan kepada percubaan mereka untuk mengelakkan diri daripada ditahan dan melarikan diri daripada pihak polis dan tindakan perayu pertama membuang beg yang mengandungi dadah tersebut. Pembelaan mereka gagal untuk meletakkan sebarang keraguan berpatutan ke atas kes pendakwaan.

Dalam Mahkamah Persekutuan, perayu-perayu berhujah bahawa (i) perbicaraan adalah terbatal oleh kerana pendakwa raya tidak memberi kebenaran terhadap tuduhan yang dipinda; (ii) pihak pendakwaan sepatutnya memanggil pemberi maklumat ‘Mud’ untuk memberi keterangan dan/atau menawarkannya kepada pembelaan; (iii) memandangkan perayu kedua hanya berunding tentang penjualan kanabis dengan PW10 dan tidak pernah dalam milikan dadah tersebut, dia tidak terbabit dalam pengedaran; dan (iv) memandangkan perayu pertama tidak terlibat dalam perundingan atau tindakan persediaan tetapi hanya mempunyai jagaan dan kawalan kanabis tersebut, dia patut didapati bersalah hanya untuk milikan dan bukan untuk pengedaran. Pihak pendakwaan membalas bahawa (i) kebenaran kepada tuduhan yang dipinda tidak diperlukan memandangkan pendakwaan telah

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dilakukan oleh timbalan pendakwa raya (ii) Mud bukanlah ejen perangkap tetapi hanya pemberi maklumat yang mana identitinya dilindungi oleh s 40ADB. Mud sekadar memperkenalkan perayu kedua kepada PW10 dan tidak lebih dari itu; dan (iii) perayu-perayu bertindak bersama-sama, dengan niat bersama untuk menjual kanabis kepada PW10.

Diputuskan, menolak rayuan dan mengesahkan sabitan dan hukuman perayu-perayu:

  • (1)
    Kebenaran pendakwa raya untuk tuduhan yang dipinda adalah tidak perlu memandangkan pendakwaan telah dilakukan oleh timbalan pendakwa raya di mana kebenaran pendakwa raya adalah tersirat daripada tindakannya dan kebenaran bertulis selanjutnya oleh pendakwa raya adalah tidak perlu: Garmaz s/o Pakhar & Anor v Public Prosecutor [1995] 3 SLR 701 diikut; Public Prosecutor v Lee Chwee Kiok [1979] 1 MLJ 45 tidak diikut (lihat perenggan 35 & 33).
  • (2)
    Keterangan Mud adalah tidak perlu di dalam penceritaan kes pihak pendakwaan. Tidak dapat dipertikaikan bahawa peranan yang dimainkan oleh Mud hanyalah untuk memperkenalkan PW10 kepada perayu kedua. Hanya kerana Mud dikenali oleh perayu kedua tidak bermakna dia adalah ejen perangkap (lihat perenggan 43).
  • (3)
    Dalam kes ini pengedaran tersebut adalah penjualan kanabis atau pembeliannya oleh PW10. Apa yang berlaku pada malam 5 April 1996 adalah bab terakhir dalam persediaan untuk pengedaran dadah yang mana membawa kepada bekalan dan penyerahan 3kg kanabis oleh perayu pertama bagi tujuan untuk diberikan kepada PW10 oleh kedua-dua perayu sebagai ganti untuk pembayaran yang dipersetujui sebelum itu. Terdapat niat bersama untuk memastikan penjualan kanabis kepada PW10(lihat perenggan 48 & 49).
  • (4)
    Untuk membentuk penyerahan sebenar, adalah tidak perlu bahawa harga yang dipersetujui hendaklah dibayar apabila atau sebelum penyerahan fizikal dadah tersebut. Di sini, transaksi telah disempurnakan apabila perayu-perayu menyediakan kanabis kepada PW10 dan hanya menunggu untuk bayaran (lihat perenggan 50).
  • (5)
    Tidak terdapat salah arah dalam penilaian keterangan yang dikemukakan atau standard pembuktian yang digunakan oleh hakim bicara dalam membuat keputusannya. Keterangan kukuh yang dikemukakan menunjukkan peranan yang dimainkan oleh perayu-perayu untuk menyediakan kanabis untuk pembelian oleh PW10. Tindakan setiap daripada mereka yang cuba untuk melarikan diri daripada tempat kejadian untuk mengelakkan diri daripada ditahan oleh polis adalah petunjuk yang jelas bahawa kedua-duanya tahu akan urusniaga mereka dengan PW10 (lihat perenggan 51 & 52).
4 MLJ 1 at 5
Notes

For cases on consent of Public Prosecutor to prosecute, see 5(2) Mallal’s Digest (4th Ed, 2010 Reissue) paras 3093–3095.

Cases referred to

Garmaz s/o Pakhar & Anor v PP [1995] 3 SLR 701, HC (refd)

Gnanasegaran a/l Pararajasingam v PP [1997] 3 MLJ 1, CA (refd)

Lee Lee Chong v PP [1998] 4 MLJ 697, CA (refd)

Pendakwa Raya v Mansor bin Mohd Rashid & Anor [1996] 3 MLJ 560, FC (refd)

PP v Lee Chwee Kiok [1979] 1 MLJ 45 (refd)

PP v Sa’ari Jusoh [2007] 2 CLJ 197, FC (refd)

Ti Chuee Hiang v PP [1995] 2 MLJ 433, SC (refd)

Legislation referred to

Dangerous Drugs Act 1952 ss 2, 39B(1)(a), (1)(c), 39B(2), 40A

Penal Code s 34

Appeal From: Criminal Appeal Nos W–05–53 of 1997 and W–05–54 of 1997 (Court of Appeal, Putrajaya).
Gurbachan Singh (Ratnam with him) (Bachan & Kartar) for the appellants.
Ahmad Bache (Deputy Public Prosecutor, Attorney General’s Chambers) for the respondent.
Jaya Prakash watching brief for the Indonesian Consulate.

Richard Malanjum FCJ (delivering judgment of the court)
INTRODUCTION

[1] There are two appeals before us heard together. In both the appeals the respective appellants were convicted and sentenced to death on the amended charge under s 39B(1)(c) of the Dangerous Drugs Act 1952 (‘the Act’) read with s 34 of the Penal Code and punishable under s 39B(2) of the Act by the High Court Kuala Lumpur on 5 August 1997. Their respective appeals to the Court of Appeal were dismissed on 2 December 2004. They now appeal to this court on 15 grounds of appeal.

[2] Initially both the appellants were charged under s 39B(1)(a) of the Act read with s 34 of the same Code and punishable under s 39B(2) of the Act. However, at the end of the case for the prosecution the learned deputy public prosecutor amended the charge to one of s 39B(1)(c) of the Act.

[3] In this judgment the appellant in the first appeal is described as the first appellant and the appellant in the second appeal as the second appellant and

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together as the appellants.

FACTUAL BACKGROUNDS

[4] The amended charge preferred against the appellants in the High Court reads:

Bahawa kamu bersama-sama pada 5 April 1996, lebih kurang 9.45 malam, di Jalan Raja Alang, Kampung Baru, Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan, dalam mencapai niat bersama, kamu telah di pihak kamu melakukan satu perbuatan persediaan untuk mengedar dadah berbahaya, iaitu 2996.4 gram cannabis, suatu kesalahan di bawah seksyen 39B(1)(c)Akta Dadah Berbahaya 1952 (Disemak 1980) dibaca bersama dengan seksyen 34 Kanun Keseksaan dan boleh dihukum di bawah seksyen 39B(2)Akta Dadah Berbahaya 1952.

[5] It is the case for the prosecution that on 4 April 1996 at around 5pm. Chief Inspector Amir Hamzah bin Hanudin (‘PW10’) from the Unit Risikan Jenayah Ibu Pejabat Bukit Aman, acting as a drug buyer, was introduced by his source a person known as Mud to Agam, the second appellant, an Indonesian, at the Restoran Hashimah Paya Jaras, Sungai Buluh.

[6] After Mud had introduced PW10 to the second appellant he asked Mud to leave. PW10 then began discussion with the second appellant. PW10 informed the second appellant that he wished to buy 10 kilo of drugs ‘ganja’ (‘cannabis’). The second appellant agreed to supply at the price of RM1,700 per kilo. PW10 did not agree on the price. Further negotiation took place on the price and it was finally agreed at RM1,600 per kilo. The second appellant then told PW10 that the cannabis was at Kampung Baru, Kuala Lumpur in the area of Jalan Raja Alang and could only be collected in the evening or at night.

[7] At about 7pm on the same evening the second appellant invited PW10 to come with him to Kampung Baru to collect the cannabis. PW10 drove his car, a red GTO Mitsubishi with registration No WDX 983. The second appellant sat on the passenger seat.

[8] On arrival at the place the second appellant went out for 15–20 minutes but only to come back to say that the cannabis was not yet available. The second appellant then told PW10 they were to return to Paya Jaras and on the way back the second appellant informed PW10 that the cannabis could not be obtained that evening as it was not safe to do so. The second appellant then said to PW10 that he could get someone to deliver the cannabis at Paya Jaras with an additional payment of RM300. PW10 disagreed and advised the second appellant that if there was any further development he was to call him on his

4 MLJ 1 at 7

mobile phone. In reply the second appellant asked PW10 to come to Kampung Baru at the same location around 3pm the next day.[9] At around 11.30am the next day PW10 went to the Operation Room of the Narcotics Department Task Force of the Bukit Aman Police Headquarters at Cheras to brief the members of the task force (‘the police’) on the pending transaction at Jalan Raja Alang Kampung Baru in which he would pose as a buyer of the cannabis.

[10] It was therefore agreed during the briefing:

  • (a)
    that the police would focus on the agreed location;
  • (b)
    that PW10 would used the same car; and
  • (c)
    that the police would move to ambush only after PW10 had given the signal by opening the boot of his car.

[11] At around 7.50pm on 5 April 1996 the second appellant called PW10 on his mobile phone. The first four calls of the same number PW10 did not answer. It was only the fifth call that he answered and it was the second appellant.

[12] Over the phone the second appellant told PW10 that the cannabis was available and that PW10 was to come to Jalan Raja Alang in front of Yuli Clinic at around 9pm. PW10 agreed.

[13] PW10 then informed the police who were with him at the Golf Club PDRM of the agreed location and emphasised to them that the seller would be entering his car.

[14] PW10 arrived at the designated location at about 9.10pm and knew that the police had also arrived due to the presence of one member in short pants near the public telephone booth. PW10 parked his car under a street light in order to have clear sight of what might happen.

[15] At about 9.20pm the second appellant arrived with another person introduced to PW10 as Tarmizi, the first appellant. PW10 asked both of them to enter his car. The first appellant was seated on the front passenger seat while the second appellant was at the back seat. The first appellant proceeded to inform PW10 that he only had 3kg of the cannabis. PW10 agreed to buy and the first appellant asked for payment.

[16] When the first appellant asked for the money PW10 showed him and said that he would only pay upon seeing the cannabis. The first appellant

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therefore went out of the car walking to the rear of the car towards a corner not far from it. PW10 then asked the second appellant to come to the front seat.[17] While waiting for the first appellant PW10 was informed by the second appellant that only 3kg could be obtained for the transaction but he would arrange again next time.

[18] After about 15–20 minutes the first appellant came back. PW10 asked the second appellant to come out with him and moved to the rear of the car. The three met at the rear of the car. The first appellant told PW10 he had the cannabis inside the bag he was carrying. The first appellant brought it in front of PW10 and the second appellant. From inside the bag the first appellant proceeded to take out a compact bundle wrapped with transparent plastics. PW10 smelt it, looked at it and pressed it before suspecting it was cannabis.

[19] The first appellant and second appellant asked PW10 to be quick. PW10 went to get the money inside the car but at the same time pulling the lever to open the boot to signal the police to act. At that time the cannabis was still with the first appellant. When PW10 was about to return to the rear of the car he saw the police heading for the first appellant and second appellant. PW10 went back into his car, turned on the engine and sped off.

[20] The transaction between PW10 and the appellants were witnessed by Chief Inspector Fisol (‘PW5’) who led the police that night and Det Cpl Rosdi (‘PW8’). They were about 10–15 meters away from the car of PW10. They identified the first appellant as a tall, well-built man wearing a red short–sleeve T–shirt and dark jeans while the second appellant was wearing a white T–shirt and dark pants.

[21] When the signal to act came on PW5 and PW8 ran to apprehend the first appellant and second appellant respectively. However after a struggle with PW5 the first appellant managed to free himself and threw away the bag he was carrying before running away. PW5 did not pursue him but stayed back to watch over the bag thrown by the first appellant. It was Inspector Zambri who made another attempt to apprehend the first appellant. He too failed. He was injured when he was pushed and fell down. The first appellant was then pursued by Det Cpl Khalid (‘PW7’) who managed to arrest him after firing two shots at him and injuring his right leg. Several members of the police also came to assist PW7. The second appellant also tried to escape but was caught by PW8 with the help of Det Sjn Abdullah.

[22] The first appellant and second appellant were both identified by PW7 and PW8 as the two persons with PW10 that night based on their clothing.

4 MLJ 1 at 9

[23] After the arrest of the first appellant and second appellant PW5 examined the content of the bag in their presence. PW5 found three compressed slabs suspected to be cannabis. PW6, the chemist, (Cheong Meow Kioon) did the analysis of the three slabs seized by the police. In his evidence PW6 said that he was given three compressed slabs of plant material wrapped with plastic sheet and secured with adhesive tape. He found the nett weight of each slab to be 1,018.4g, 991.4g and 986.6g respectively and giving the total weight of 2,996.4g. And after he had carried out the essential analysis on the three slabs by way of several established and accepted tests he found all the plant material of the three slabs to be cannabis as defined in s 2 of the Act.

[24] At the end of the case for the prosecution and after giving the maximum evaluation of the evidence adduced by the prosecution the learned High Court judge called for the defence of both the first appellant and second appellant. In doing so he made several findings of fact related to the issues raised by learned counsel for the first appellant and second appellant, inter alia:

  • (a)
    that the first appellant and second appellant were identified by PW10 and corroborated by PW5, PW7 and PW8. In addition both the first appellant and second appellant were arrested at the scene of the event;
  • (b)
    that the identification of the first appellant and second appellant was possible that night since the views of the prosecution’s witnesses who observed the event were not hampered. There were street lights and building lights in the vicinity;
  • (c)
    that PW6 concluded that the three slabs he analysed were cannabis as defined in s 2 of the Act;
  • (d)
    that the first appellant and second appellant had the common intention since they acted together in the preparation for the sale of the cannabis; and
  • (e)
    that the first appellant and second appellant had knowledge of the cannabis. The acts of the first appellant in struggling with the police to resist arrest, throwing the bag containing the cannabis and running away indicated such knowledge. And so was the second appellant who also struggled with the police in an attempt to escape.

[25] The learned trial High Court judge did not think that the failure by the Prosecution to tender as evidence the Police Report Dang Wangi No 7049/96 had jeopardised the prosecution’s case as he opined it was not a first information report. And neither did the learned trial High Court judge find any break in the chain of evidence adduced by the prosecution. The evidence of PW10 was also held to be admissible under s 40A of the Act.

4 MLJ 1 at 10

[26] In his unsworn statement the first appellant said that he happened to be at the scene of the event when he heard shouts of ‘Polis, polis, polis’. As he was an illegal immigrant and feared of being apprehended he ran off. In the process he dropped his watch and while looking for it he heard a gun shot and felt pain on his right thigh. He fainted.

[27] The learned trial High Court judge did not find the version of the first appellant as having cast any reasonable doubt in the prosecution’s case. His reasons were as follows:

  • (a)
    that the first appellant did not deny that he was at the scene of the event that night;
  • (b)
    that there was no reason why the police would go for the first appellant if indeed there were other people in the vicinity at that time. Further it was illogical for the first appellant to say that he ran away as he was an illegal immigrant yet gave his watch a priority when he stopped to look for it at the risk of being arrested; and
  • (c)
    that there was nothing in the statement of the first appellant to contradict the evidence of the prosecution that at that time he was carrying a bag containing the cannabis and which he threw away when the police wanted to arrest him.

[28] The second appellant also made an unsworn statement from the dock. He said that on 4 April 1996 he did meet Mud with another person introduced to him as Abang Jo at the restaurant in Paya Jaras. While at the restaurant Mud and Abang Jo agreed to meet at Jalan Raja Alang the next day. The second appellant went on to say that he met Mud on 5 April 1996 at Jalan Raja Alang. Mud told him that there was a man in a car who asked him to go in. The second appellant said that he followed but did not enter the car. Then suddenly he heard gun shots and the shouts of ‘Polis, polis’. He was subsequently arrested.

[29] Having heard the version of the second appellant the learned trial High Court judge did not find it having cast any reasonable doubt on the prosecution’s case for the following reasons:

  • (a)
    the second appellant did not deny that he was at the scene of the event that night;
  • (b)
    the second appellant did not say who was the man inside the car;
  • (c)
    the second appellant did not deny that he struggled with the police; and
  • (d)
    there was no reason or even suggested reason why the police would arrest the second appellant.
4 MLJ 1 at 11

[30] The learned trial High Court judge thus found both the first appellant and second appellant guilty of the charge preferred against them. He convicted and sentenced them accordingly.

[31] The Court of Appeal dismissed the respective appeals of the appellants. Briefly, the Court of Appeal held:

  • (a)
    that preparatory act for the purpose of trafficking drugs consists of several continuing acts;
  • (b)
    that the evidence of the chemist (‘PW6’) was credible. There was no necessity for him to show in detail what he did in his laboratory; and
  • (c)
    that the consent of the public prosecutor was implied in this case since the prosecution was conducted by a deputy public prosecutor.

[32] Before us learned counsel for the appellants only pursued grounds of Appeal Nos 13, 14 and 15. But he raised the issue of absence of consent of the public prosecutor for the amended charge.

ISSUE OF CONSENT ON THE AMENDED CHARGE

[33] Learned counsel for the appellants submitted that the trial of his clients was a nullity in view of the absence of consent to the amended charge preferred against them at the close of the case for the prosecution. He cited the case of Public Prosecutor v Lee Chwee Kiok [1979] 1 MLJ 45. In that case the original charge was under s 39B(1)(a) of the Act but on the day of trial the learned deputy public prosecutor amended it to s 39A(1)(c) of the same Act. Harun J (as he then was) said this at p 1:

It will be observed that although the original and amended charges are two distinct offences, they are both created by the same section of the law viz s 39B(1) and both carry the same penalty. Both require the consent of the public prosecutor under s 39B(3). The learned deputy public prosecutor argued that the amendment was technical and as the public prosecutor had given his consent on the original charge he was at liberty to amend the charges in the manner he did. I do not think so. It was held in Abdul Hamid v Public Prosecutor [1956] MLJ 231 that a consent to prosecute ‘is an act of reason, accompanied with deliberation, the mind weighing, as in a balance, the good and evil on each side’. The public prosecutor has clearly exercised his mind in respect of the original charge when he gave his consent to prosecute some four months after the alleged offence. It was incumbent on him however to exercise the same degree of deliberation in respect of the amended charge. He has not done so … The facts of the case were fully before the public prosecutor at the time of giving his consent and he could have elected to proceed on the amended charge then. He did not do so. It would appear therefore that the public prosecutor

4 MLJ 1 at 12

has not given his consent to prosecute under the amended charge. That being so, the trial is a nullity on the authority of Lyn Hong Yap v Public Prosecutor [1956] MLJ 226.

[34] In his response the learned deputy submitted to us that consent would be superfluous in this case as the prosecution was conducted by a deputy public prosecutor. In its judgment the Court of Appeal held the same view.

[35] We agree with the view of the Court of Appeal and the submission of the learned deputy. The law was concisely and correctly summarised by Yong Pung How CJ (Singapore) in Garmaz s/o Pakhar & Anor v Public Prosecutor [1995] 3 SLR 701 when he said this at p 720:

The settled Malaysian position has been to consider a deputy public prosecutor as being capable of exercising all the rights and powers of the public prosecutor … It follows from this proposition that where prosecution is conducted by a DPP, the consent of the public prosecutor is implicit in his actions and no further written consent of the public prosecutor is required. Indeed, this was the holding of the Privy Council inPublic Prosecutor v Oie Hee Koi [1968] 1 MLJ 148. The ruling in Public Prosecutor v Oie Hee Koi [1968] 1 MLJ 148 was followed inPerumal v Public Prosecutor [1970] 2 MLJ 265, Public Prosecutor v Mohamed Halipah [1982] 1 MLJ 155, Public Prosecutor v Datuk Haji Dzulkifli [1982] 1 MLJ 340 and Public Prosecutor v Lim Boon Hock [1985] 2 MLJ 219.

[36] The learned Chief Justice also noted that in Public Prosecutor v Lee Chwee Kiok Harun J (as he then was) had not been referred to the Privy Council decision in Public Prosecutor v Oie Hee Koi.

[37] And in fact Yusof Abdul Rashid J in Public Prosecutor v Mohamed Halipah declined to follow the judgment of Harun J. He preferred to follow Public Prosecutor v Oie Hee Koi and said this at p 159:

It is to be noted that in the above case the prosecution was conducted before the High Court by a deputy public prosecutor who under the Criminal Procedure Code is vested with all the powers of the public prosecutor. On the authority of this case, it is clear that where the prosecution is conducted by a deputy public prosecutor the consent of the public prosecutor is implicit in his action and no written consent of the public prosecutor is required.

[38] In another case of Gnanasegaran a/l Pararajasingam v Public Prosecutor [1997] 3 MLJ 1 Mahadev Shankar JCA said this at pp 13–14:

If a deputy public prosecutor is present and goes on record when the accused is called upon to plead to an offence under this Act, no separate consent should be required (see Lyn Hong Yap v Public Prosecutor [1956] MLJ 226 and Perumal v Public Prosecutor [1970] 2 MLJ 265).

4 MLJ 1 at 13

[39] As such we find no merit in the contention of learned counsel for the appellants on the issue of absence of consent of the public prosecutor in respect of the amended charge.

GROUND 13 — THE FAILURE TO CALL AS A WITNESS THE INFORMER, MUD

[40] Next, learned counsel for the appellants argued that the learned judges of the Court of Appeal ‘erred and misdirected themselves in law and in fact in not holding that the informer (Mud) ought to have been called by the prosecution to unfold the narrative of the Prosecution’s case and/or offered him to the defence’. Learned counsel contended that PW10 was introduced by Mud to the second appellant and thus Mud must have been known to the second appellant. He cited the case of Ti Chuee Hiang v Public Prosecutor [1995] 2 MLJ 433 to support his contention.

[41] Learned deputy replied that Mud was only an informer hence his identity was protected by s 40 of the Act. He pointed out that Mud merely introduced the second appellant to PW10 and did nothing else. As such he was an Informer and not an agent provocateur. The learned deputy went on to say that Mud did less than the informer in Pendakwa Raya v Mansor bin Mohd Rashid & Anor [1996] 3 MLJ 560 yet the Federal Court in that case ruled that the informer was not an agent provocateur when it said this at p 578:

In Munusamy v Public Prosecutor [1987] 1 MLJ 492 (SC), Mohd Azmi SCJ (now FCJ) in delivering the judgment of the court, opined (at p 494) that ‘whether a person is an informer or has become an active agent provocateur would depend on the facts of each particular case’. In our instant case under appeal though Cholar introduced PW9 to the second respondent and was present when both transactions involving cannabis were struck, there was no evidence that he had done anything apart from being present. It appears obvious that his presence during the negotiation process and the transactions was merely to lend credence to PW9’s intention to purchase the cannabis in the minds of the respondents.

On the particular facts and circumstances of the instant case under appeal, we are of the view that Cholar was not an agent provocateur. But even if he was, there is more than sufficient credible evidence of the respondents’ involvement in the negotiation and agreement to sell to PW9 the 902g of cannabis subsequently brought out by the second respondent from room ‘K’ in the said house.

[42] In its judgment the Court of Appeal held that the role of Mud in this case was merely to introduce the second appellant to PW10 unlike the informer in Ti Chuee Hiang v Public Prosecutor who played an active role as an agent provocateur to arrange for the accused to meet the police and subsequently for his arrest.

4 MLJ 1 at 14

[43] We have perused the whole evidence adduced. We are of the view that there was no necessity for the evidence of Mud in the narrative of the prosecution’s case. In fact it was not disputed that the only role of Mud was to introduce PW10 to the second appellant. Just because Mud was known to the second appellant did not make him an agent provocateur. We therefore agree with the view of the Court of Appeal that the role of Mud could not be compared to that of the informer in Ti Chuee Hiang v Public Prosecutor ‘who had enticed the appellant to walk into a deliberate trap, which had been planned and organised by PPP Noorhashim and executed by a team of six police officers led by K/Inspector Mohd Amin bin Abd Raof (‘PW3′) who was then attached to Cawangan Anti Dadah, Bukit Aman, Kuala Lumpur, on the date and at the time and place referred to in the charge’.

[44] Accordingly, we also find no merit in this issue as raised by learned counsel for the appellants.

GROUNDS 14 AND 15 — CUSTODY, CONTROL AND POSSESSION OF THE CANNABIS

[45] Learned counsel for the appellants contended that the second appellant only did the negotiation with PW10 and he was not in possession of the cannabis. As such there was no question of him involved in the trafficking of the cannabis.

[46] In respect of the first appellant’s learned counsel argued that he did not participate in the negotiation or in the preparatory act. He only had the custody and control of the cannabis. As such the presumption of possession applied and thus he should only be guilty of possession and not for trafficking. The case of Public Prosecutor v Sa’ari Jusoh [2007] 2 CLJ 197 was cited in support.

[47] In response the learned deputy submitted that the appellants were charged with common intention for the offence. And that the evidence adduced must be considered as a whole including the overwhelming evidence that the appellants acted together to effect the sale of the cannabis to PW10.

[48] On this issue the Court of Appeal held that the preparatory act for the purpose of trafficking drugs covers a number of continuing acts. It begins from an agreement until the successful handing over of the drugs to another party. The acts in between carried out to achieve the purpose included such acts as getting the supply, wrapping, sending and meeting between the parties. In this case the trafficking was the sale of cannabis or the purchase of it by PW10. And what transpired on the night of 5 April 1996 along Jalan Raja Alang was the final chapter in the preparation of the trafficking of the drugs which

4 MLJ 1 at 15

constituted the supply and delivery of 3kg of the cannabis by the first appellant for the purpose of the first appellant and second appellant jointly handing it over to PW10 in exchange for the payment as earlier agreed.[49] The appellants were charged with common intention to ensure the sale of the cannabis to PW10. And such sale was proved by direct evidence without relying on any of the statutory presumptions in the Act. We are therefore in entire agreement with the view of the Court of Appeal in finding that the contention of learned counsel for the appellants has no merit.

[50] On the issue of delivery it is now a settled law that to constitute actual delivery it is not necessary that the agreed price must be paid upon or before the physical delivery of the drugs (see Wan Mazuki bin Wan Abdullah v Public Prosecutor Criminal Appeal No 05–56 of 2008 (T). As such the decision in Public Prosecutor v Sa’ari Jusoh should not be narrowly construed. And in this case the transaction was in fact completed since the appellants had produced the cannabis to PW10 and were only waiting for the payment when the police moved in to apprehend them.

[51] In respect of the complaint that there was misdirection in the evaluation of the evidence adduced and the standard of proof applied by the learned trial High Court judge before coming to his decision, we agree with the Court of Appeal that there was no such misdirection shown or apparent.

[52] While in essence the basic defence of the appellants was one of mere denial, there were overwhelming evidence adduced indicating the roles played by the first appellant and second appellant in order to make the cannabis available for PW10 to purchase. Indeed the very act of each of them in attempting to flee from the scene and avoiding arrest by the police was one clear indication that both knew what they were dealing in with PW10 (see Lee Lee Chong v Public Prosecutor [1998] 4 MLJ 697).

[53] As learned counsel for the appellants did not pursue the other grounds of appeal we need not have to deal with them. At any rate we are not persuaded that any of them could have made the difference to our conclusion.

[54] The respective appeals of the first appellant and second appellant are therefore dismissed. We affirmed their respective convictions and sentences imposed by the High Court and upheld by the Court of Appeal.

Appeals dismissed and appellant’s conviction and sentence affirmed.
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