PUTRAJAYA, Jan 15 — The Federal Court has rescheduled March 21 to hear a 22-year-old youth’s appeal against his conviction for the murder of 23 people in a fire at the Darul Quran Ittifaqiyah Tahfiz Centre, in 2017.
The youth’s counsel, Haijan Omar, when contacted by Bernama, confirmed that the hearing date of the appeal has been rescheduled.
The Federal Court had earlier fixed February 21 for the hearing of the appeal.
The youth, who was 16 years old at the time of the offence, was found guilty of the murder, and ordered by the High Court on August 17, 2020, to be detained at the pleasure of the Yang-di-Pertuan Agong. On the same day, the High Court had acquitted the second youth on the murder charge.
According to the charge, the youth, together with another person still at large, was accused of murder and causing the deaths of 23 people in the tahfiz centre at Jalan Keramat Hujung, Kampung Datuk Keramat, Wangsa Maju in Putrajaya, between 4.15am and 6.45am on September 14, 2017.
He was charged with 23 counts of murder; each charge was framed under Section 302 of the Penal Code and read together with Section 34 of the same law which provides for the mandatory death sentence upon conviction.
Section 97(1) of the Child Act 2001 stipulates that a death sentence shall not be pronounced or recorded against a person convicted of an offence if the child is under the age of 18, and in lieu of the death sentence, as provided under Section 97(2) of the same law, the court shall order the person to be detained at the pleasure of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong.
On September 11, last year, the Court of Appeal dismissed the youth’s appeal and upheld his conviction and prison sentence.
The appellate court also dismissed the prosecution’s appeal against the acquittal of the second youth, also aged 22, for the murder, without ordering him to enter his defence. The other youth was also 16 years old at the time of the incident.
It is learned that no notice of appeal has been filed by the prosecution against the youth’s acquittal. — Bernama