12 years for Saudi student having cannabis

SHAH ALAM: “Please, please” pleaded Muhamed Tariq Sadaquah Abualjadeil in the High Court yesterday, minutes before he was to be sentenced.

His counsel, Gurbachan Singh, who was delivering his mitigation plea, shrugged off his client several times, then gave in and told judge Datuk Syed Ahmad Helmy Syed Ahmad that Tariq “had stomach problems and needed to ease himself”.

Syed Ahmad adjourned sentencing for 15 minutes, saying he could use the time to prepare the judgment.

When the court resumed Syed Ahmad sentenced the 21-year-old student from Saudi Arabia to 12 years’ jail and three strokes of the rotan for possessing 2.57kg of cannabis at the entrance of Cyber Heights Villa, Dengkil, Sepang, at 1am on Nov 18, 2006.

He pleaded guilty to the reduced charge. He was initially charged with trafficking in the drug.
Syed Ahmad sentenced Tariq to another three years’ jail and 10 strokes of the rotan on a second charge of possessing 43.5g of cannabis at the same time and place.

He ordered both jail terms to run concurrently from the date of Tariq’s arrest on Nov 18, 2006.

In delivering the sentence, Syed Ahmad said he took into consideration Gurbachan’s mitigation which highlighted the fact that Tariq was a business computing student in a private college here when he was arrested.

“Your lawyer has asked that you be given another opportunity although you have caused your family tremendous shame.”

Earlier, Gurbachan told the court that his client, who had been in remand since his arrest two years ago, was remorseful and wanted to continue his studies.

“He mixed with the wrong crowd. I ask the court to allow this young man another chance for him to complete his studies.”

Deputy public prosecutor Wan Shaharuddin Wan Ladin submitted that Tariq should be thankful that the prosecution offered him a lower charge and thus escape the mandatory death sentence.

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