Malaysian escapes the gallows after Singaporean court acquits him

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SINGAPORE (Bernama): A Malaysian bus driver, Mangalagiri Dhruva Kumar, escaped the noose on Wednesday (May 18) after he was acquitted by the Singapore High Court.

The prosecution’s case is that on May 16,2014, he handed a bag containing not less than 22.73 grams of diamorphine to a woman named Shanti Krishnan who then handed the drugs to Zainudin Mohamed.

In a written judgement, Justice Valerie Thean among others said the only evidence that Mangalagiri supplied the drugs to Shanti was her testimony.

Thean said Shanti was not able, however, to recall the various events of the transactions well.

Her testimony in court also deviated from her statements of May 20 and May 24, which were taken four and eight days after the offence respectively, she said.

“In my judgment, the accused’s guilt on the charge framed has not been proven beyond a reasonable doubt.

“I, therefore, acquit the accused on the charge brought against him, ” said the judge.

It was reported in March 2019 that Mangalagiri, who was given a jail term of 26 years and 15 strokes of the cane after he pleaded guilty to drug trafficking in the High Court, was given a second chance to defend himself against the charge at the Court of Appeal.

The Court of Appeal allowed his appeal and sent his case back for a re-trial before another High Court judge.

The report had said he had changed his mind about pleading guilty and wanted to retract his plea of guilt right before he was sentenced.- Bernama



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