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Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Norikoh's death: Pakistani walks free again

KOTA KINABALU - It is the end of the road for the prosecution which failed in their final appeal against the acquittal of a Pakistani trader charged with causing the much-publicised death of a 16-year-old girl in Kota Marudu.

Court of Appeal Justices Dato' Rohana Yusuf, Tan Sri Idrus Harun and Dato' Zamani A. Rahim in their unanimous decision held that they agreed with the decision of the Sessions Court and the High Court judges that there was insufficient evidence to prove a prima facie case against Amir Ali Khan Nawaty.

The trial judge was best placed to make the finding of facts based on the evidence before him and the court has no reason to disturb the decision, held Rohana.

"Therefore, we dismiss the appeal and agree with the findings of the Sessions Court and the High Court to discharge Amir," said Rohana.

Amir, 40, was on Feb. 12, 2014 freed without his defence being called on the charge of causing the death of one Norikoh Saliwah in a moving lorry headed from Kota Marudu town to Langkon, at Km 2.8 along Jalan Kota Marudu-Langkon, between 11am and 12.30pm on Nov 25, 2012.

The prosecution filed an appeal at the High Court against the decision but the High Court dismissed its appeal on Oct 2, 2014. The offence under Section 304(a) of Penal Code carries a jail term of up to 30 years on conviction.

Amir, who was not represented, walked out of the courtroom cheerfully soon after Norikoh's parents and relatives had left the premises. "Saya tidak buat apa-apa sama itu perempuan, jadi buat apa takut? (I did not do anything wrong to the girl, why should I be afraid?)" he said.

Earlier, the prosecution in its appeal submitted among others that the trial judge had erred in making a decision that the prosecution had failed to prove a prima facie case against Amir.

The trial judge also had erred to state that there was no DNA of Norikoh in the said lorry to prove that she was in the said vehicle on the day. The prosecution submitted that Norikoh was in the said lorry and had touched the window crank handle at the front passenger seat and did not hold the door handle.

It was supported by the chemist report which stated that Norikoh's DNA was in the lorry as a parcel of her DNA profile (sweat swab) was found on the lorry's window crank handle.

The prosecution also submitted that Amir's DNA was found on the door handle at the passenger seat to cast a doubt that he had pushed Norikoh out and that the said door was functioning perfectly as supported by a witness, which was never considered by both the Sessions Court and High Court.

Amir, however, told the court that the door handle had broken down long before the incident and that he had dropped Norikoh in front of a hardware shop and did not know what happened to her thereafter as he had driven away.

He said he returned Norikoh's wallet to her elder sister at the tamu after he realised its presence in his lorry soon after dropping Norikoh.

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