PUTRAJAYA: An online businessman was spared the gallows today after the Federal Court commuted the death sentence with life imprisonment for trafficking in 971.6 grammes of methamphetamine six years ago.

The decision was delivered by a three-man panel of judges comprising Chief Justice Tun Tengku Maimun Tuan Mat and Federal Court judges Datuk Harmindar Singh Dhaliwal and Datuk Abu Bakar Jais.

The panel affirmed Bukhti Shukran Abdul Rahman’s conviction for trafficking the drug.

In delivering the court’s decision, Justice Tengku Maimun, however, said in view of the recent amendment to the Dangerous Drug Act 1952, they are exercising their discretion to substitute the death sentence with imprisonment for life.

She also ordered Bukhti Shukran, 38, to be whipped 12 times.

On Aug 16, 2019, the Shah Alam High Court convicted and sentenced Bukhti Shukran and two mechanics to death for trafficking in drugs at the AEON Big car park at Bukit Rimau in Shah Alam, Selangor at about 6.20 pm on Aug 7, 2017.

The Court of Appeal, on Feb 28, last year, upheld Bukhti Shukran’s conviction and death sentence for the offence but acquitted and discharged Saiful Adly Zakaria, 41 and Azrul Alias, 37. The prosecution did not appeal the acquittal of the two men.

According to the facts of the case, Mohd Bukhti drove his car from Telok Panglima Garang in Kuala Selangor to a workshop in Bandar Sunway to repair his car. In his evidence, Mohd Bukhti said he went to AEON Big to meet a person known as “Boy” to collect spare parts for his car.

All three men went to the place in the car which was driven by Mohd Bukhti. A police team searched the car and found a box containing the drug in the rear passenger seat.

Lawyers Muhammad Rafique Rashid Ali and Fahmi Abd Moin appeared for Bukhti Shukran while deputy public prosecutor How May Ling appeared for the prosecution. - Bernama