Appeal for bail dismissed

Fadley Faisal

The High Court dismissed an application for stay of execution on finding no exceptional circumstances to warrant bail pending appeal.

In November 2019, Mohamad Norariffin bin Hamdan was sentenced to two years’ imprisonment by the Intermediate Court for three charges of physically abusing a young person under his care. He made an application for stay of execution of the sentence pending appeal but it was denied by the trial judge.

The defendant filed an application against the sentence to the Court of Appeal which consists of a panel of three international judges. However, the appeal has been postponed to between November 2020 and April 2021 due to the current COVID-19 situation.

The defendant, through his counsel Rozaiman bin Abdul Rahman, then appealed against the trial judge’s decision for not granting the stay of execution and asking to be released on bail until a date for his appeal in the Court of Appeal is heard.

The appeal was heard yesterday by the Judicial Commissioner of the Supreme Court Justice Haji Abdullah Soefri bin Pehin Orang Kaya Saiful Mulok Dato Seri Paduka Haji Abidin.

On behalf of the defendant, Rozaiman submitted that there is a good prospect of success in his appeal against the sentence. It was further submitted that due to the outbreak of COVID-19, there is a real possibility that the length of time for the appeal to be heard may be more than the length of time of the sentence being served.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Dayangku Didi-Nuraza binti Pengiran Abdul Latiff, appearing on behalf of the Public Prosecutor, submitted that although a substantial part of the two-year sentence would be served by the time the appeal is heard, there is no likelihood of success or merits to the appeal.

“The sentence of two years imposed is proper in the circumstances and the trial judge has considered all the relevant mitigating factors. Following a previous case, stay of execution should not be granted without good cause,” the deputy public prosecutor added.

Justice Haji Abdullah Soefri held that there are no merits in the application to stay of execution and that no exceptional circumstances in the case to warrant bail pending appeal. The appeal was therefore dismissed.