Prosecutors have discontinued the proceedings against Haji Md Tahir bin Haji Nudin for an offence of mischief against animals, in view of his declining health.
The 81-year-old defendant was referred to a psychologist, who reported that he has been suffering from memory lapses and a deficit in reasoning faculties.
In her application before the Magistrate’s Court, Deputy Public Prosecutor (DPP) Dayangku Didi-Nuraza binti Pengiran Haji Abdul Latiff entered a Nolle Prosequi.
A Nolle Prosequi is a procedure under the Criminal Procedure Code which can be exercised by the Public Prosecutor in any criminal case before judgment, whereby the Public Prosecutor can inform the Court that the proceedings are discontinued.
A Nolle Prosequi does not operate as a bar to any subsequent proceedings against the defendant on the same facts.
Following the application, Magistrate Dewi Norlelawati binti Haji Abdul Hamid discharged the defendant, not amounting to an acquittal. Defence counsel Rozaiman bin Abdul Rahman, representing the defendant, informed the court that the prosecution against the defendant had been a traumatic and overwhelming experience for him.
“The defendant has expressed his deep regret and sincerest apologies to those affected by the incident,” he said.
“The resulting widespread growth of awareness of animal welfare has not, and will not go unnoticed.”
However, DPP Dayangku Didi-Nuraza, representing the Public Prosecutor, reminded the public that killing, poisoning, maiming or rendering useless any animal is an offence under Section 428 of the Penal Code, which is punishable with imprisonment for a term not exceeding five years and a caning of not less than two strokes.