“I find the failure of the police to follow the guidelines, where two bottles of urine samples must be collected, rendered the conviction flawed.”
“The appellant has been deprived of two samples of urine and this strict procedural guideline must be complied with.”
Mat Sabu’s Son’s Drug Charge Overturned By Judge On Grounds That Police Failed To Follow Guidelines
The High Court today overturned Ahmad Saiful Islam’s drug-abuse conviction, the son of former defence minister Mohamad Sabu, also known as Mat Sabu.
In allowing Saiful’s appeal, Judge Collin Lawrence Sequerah said that police only collected one sample of his urine for analysis.
source - FMT
“The appellant has been deprived of two samples of urine and this strict procedural guideline must be complied with,” he said.
On January 5, 2019, around 2.05 a.m., Saiful was suspected of consuming THC-type drugs at a hotel.
On June 24, last year, magistrate Mohamad Aizat Abdul Rahim sentenced him to eight months in prison after concluding that the defence failed to create reasonable doubt in the prosecution’s case.
The court also ordered him to serve his sentence, which began on June 24, last year, and to be monitored for two years by the National Anti-Drug Agency after completing his sentence.
Saiful was released on RM9,000 bail awaiting the result of his appeal.
According to Sequerah, officers must observe the Inspector-General of Police’s Standing Orders as well as the health ministry’s urine collecting requirements, since both have legal authority.
He claimed that Saiful was denied a fair trial because strict procedural compliance under Articles 5 and 8 of the Federal Constitution was not followed.
“The appellant did not get what procedural law prescribes. He lost the chance open to him,” he said.
Sequerah said that there were excellent and convincing grounds for taking two samples, since the first test by police was just presumptive, whereas the analysis by the chemistry department was a confirmatory test.
“The provision of only one bottle (sample) leaves room for possible contamination of the sample which may impact upon the confirmation test,” he said.
He said that the law must be strictly enforced since Saiful’s charge and its repercussions were illicit in nature.
According to Sequerah, laws in the Dangerous Drugs Act stipulate that unless proved otherwise, a person is believed to have consumed or administered dangerous drugs.
“The presumption is only activated after the outcome of the second test on the sample,” he said. He further said that the test must be carried out in such a way that the sample’s integrity is not jeopardised.
He said that Saiful was held to a higher standard – on the balance of probability – in order to refute the presumption.
“I find the failure of the police to follow the guidelines, where two bottles of urine samples must be collected, rendered the conviction flawed,” he said.