Malaysian convicted murderer in “safe-keeping” in Australia

Referring to this news, “Sirul likely to be holed up in Australia for a while” (TheStar, 22 January 2015). It seemed that Australia will not allow extradition of convicted murderer if the meted sentence is death (not sure if this is true). It would seem a bad idea to keep a convicted murderer who is an expert in explosives and a well trained “soldier” in ones home country. If Australia does keep him, I guess Malaysia is still considered safer if Sirul is indefinitely kept in Australia. We will have to let the Australians worry about safety (and not to mention the fund needed to sustain Sirul during “his stay”)….

I remembered the Bali bombing that killed scores of Australians and other people in 2002. Some of the convicted murderers/terrorists were sentenced to death and what surprises me was how Australia kept mum over the execution. What didn’t surprised me was that 55% of the population agreed to it (and Australia sort of agreed to the sentence).

Now, did the death sentence meted out against terrorists served as REVENGE for Australia? Some might think of it that way, but I believe majority of Australians do not. I for one think of the death to murderers as a humane way to remove threats from society. It is much more humane than allowing the person to rot in jail. That is because a swift death is better than prolonged vengeful mental torture to the convicts. To lose one’s freedom forever is worst that quick death!

Just a thought.

Pistorius case and what I gather

If an intruder is in someone’s house in South Africa, it’s negligent lethal force if he/she ends up being shot dead (or killed). So, if you are invited to someone’s  house in South Africa, be sure to ask for a black and white proof of invitation.
It’s absurd. If indeed Pistorius suspected that there is an intruder in his house, and being holed up in the toilet. A normal sane person would have called the police. But no, he had the time to grab his illicit gun, moved towards the bathroom, and then fired four shots.
Probably he “forgot” that he invited his girlfriend over, and thus regarded the person “hiding” in the toilet as an “intruder”.
The legal system is fair. It couldn’t prove that Pistorius knew then who was in the toilet. There isn’t proof beyond reasonable doubt, so he is found guilty of a lighter “negligent”/culpable homicide charge. To Pistorius family members, just shut the hell up, and be happy that he’s not convicted of murder. Don’t try to sugarcoat him anymore because (it’s futile and) you are agravating the pain that the victim’s family is going through now.
“A rotten core is rotten no matter how you try to package it”.

Killing someone you loved, Oscar Pistorius, she had no chance to survive your shots

Oscar Pistorius will not be found guilty for murder (or premeditated murder) of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp. He was found (1) to act negligently when he fatally shot Steenkamp, and (2) acted hastily & with excessive force. Culpable homicide normally carries five years in South Africa.

Well, although Pistorius will escape the murder charge (normally 25 years behind bars), he won’t be able to commit the same atrocity again without raising red flags. That fact is consolation for the lost of life and the light sentence that will be meted out for the murder (whether intentional or not). It’s unfortunate that Steenkamp had to die the way she did. The killing was clearly not in self-defense and I can never accept/tolerate that (even though it’s classified as culpable homicide) especially considering that deadly weapon was used.

Steenkamp had no chance of surviving the shots (four shots were fired), even though prosecutors failed to prove that the shooting was premeditated. Just look at the toilet space (it’s a dead end that fit a person). To shoot four times around the middle of the door would be very likely to hit the intended target. If he had no intention to kill, he could have aimed up at the door and opened fire at the ceiling. It was rage with intention to kill when he fired those shots (rather than to warn/frighten). Well, that will be the last person he will be able to kill and get away with a light sentence.

Bathroom and toilet layout; the spot where Pistorius fired the four shots

Bathroom and toilet layout; the spot where Pistorius fired the four shots (Figures taken from espn.co.uk)

Sequence of events and the spot where Pistorius fired the four shots

Sequence of events and the spot where Pistorius fired the four shots. Figure taken from capitalbay.com.

I don’t know Oscar Pistorius really well to be bias against him. I’m writing this piece as reminder that although justice might be lenient at times, it does hamper murderers like Pistorius from repeating the offense. He could escape with lighter culpable homicide this time, but if he ever commit the same crime again, previous conviction will weigh in on him.

Just a thought.

Gang rape and murder suspect freed in Malaysia

A sad case.
Under NST news “car dealer escapes the gallows
Other references: utusan news “peniaga bebas tuduhan bunuh” (in Malay) and other sources from asiaone, malaysia-chronicle etc. WA today Australia news

It’s about an abduction of a 25yo fresh grad (Chee Gaip Yap in 2006) while she went out jogging with her younger sister. This was followed by gang-rape (multiple semen found) and murder by stabbing.

The clue was from a tinted car seen speeding away from crime scene. The owner was found and detained. Bail was given and DNA sample taken. Before DNA test was out, the suspect, Shahril Jaafar, jumped bail and fled oversea (and found six years later [Jan 2013] in Australia as PR).

The DNA test matched suspect with semen found. However, there was contamination from other semen (from gang rape) and rendering the evidence inconclusive (and useless).

In order to strengthen the case, the prosecutor(s) can only use circumstantial evidence or testimony (from investigative work carried out six years ago); as the case was recently reopen after a six years lapse, there was a change of hands by prosecutors (from Lim Cheah Yit to Datuk Razali Che Ani); in other word, the original prosecutor handling the case was off the case (reason not specified) and the case needed to be established promptus (or expeditiously); This could have (speculatively) rendered the case shoddy and weak.

In the end, the prosecutor failed to bring a strong case and the court decided a lack of prima facie case against the suspect, and the suspect was acquitted. The father of the victim nearly jumped to his death after the sentencing (if not prevented by witnesses) due to immense grief. My condolence.

The above case left me wondering:

1. Why was the suspect not charged with contempt of court for jumping bail? Would an innocent person flee before the DNA test?

2. Is DNA technology still not up-to-date in Malaysia (or elsewhere) to pin-point multiple source of DNA (esp. gang rape and murder where the victim can’t testify)? Unfortunately, the answer is a YES.

3. There was no mention of DNA sample obtained in the said suspected vehicle used in abduction and rape. Not even a single strand of hair from the victim? The court decided that just because the suspect’s car was seen speeding away from the crime scene does not imply his vehicle was used for abduction (and rape). I think the prosecutor (or investigation process) made a very weak case and I can assume that they were incompetent in handling the case.

4. News report associated the suspect as the son of a “Datuk” (normally implies powerful person) in Malaysia. This fact carries a negative connotation and normally would allow speculation that the case was unfairly conducted.

5. There is a similarity in the rape-and murder case of Norrita Samsuddin (source: The Star news) in which the semen found on the victim after probable gang-rape (multiple semen) and murder was useless due to DNA “contamination”. The case relied solely on the competency of investigative and prosecution process (and evidence at hand); the suspect, Hanif Basree was acquitted.

6. I wonder how well is the performance of Malaysian prosecutors in gang-rape-cum-murder (or rape-cum-murder) cases. How about the performance of our forensic team in Malaysia?

7. What will happen to the semen sample of “contaminated” origin? Will they be destroyed (and case close forever) or is there HOPE that these samples will be stored for future reference (with advent of technology) in order to bring justice to those wrongly acquitted (as well as those wrongfully sentenced).

8. For those would-be rapist-cum-murderer; technology will catch up and allow a robust DNA profiling of single cell (or spermatozoon) and this will be bundled with efficient isolation of cellular evidence. Even if the DNA is chemically destroyed, if there is enough material to work with – next gen sequencing and powerful bioinformatic tools will allow reconstruction of these materials (with epigenome, proteome, or other biomolecules readout) to reinforce association of samples found on victim (or crime scene) and assist in prosecutors’ presentation of circumstantial evidence.