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Appeal judge calls for steps to avoid troubling situation in appeals

Published on Jan 17, 2014 3:54 PM
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Justice Chao Hick Tin has called for measures to be taken to avoid future situations in which an offender has served his jail term, or a good part of it, before his appeal is heard. -- ST FILE PHOTO: CHEW SENG KIM

An appeal judge has called for measures to be taken to avoid future situations in which an offender has served his jail term, or a good part of it, before his appeal is heard.

One way this could be done is to grant bail to an offender once the prosecution appeals, said Justice Chao Hick Tin. He added that this was an area that warrants legislative attention, given the potential unfairness that can arise.

Justice Chao made the remarks in his written judgment, published on Friday, in the case of three national servicemen who went on a stealing spree at a police station.

Saiful Rizam Assim, Muhammad Erman Iman Tauhid, Muhammad Yunus Aziz, were sentenced to between seven months and 11/2 years by a district court in April last year. The prosecution appealed, arguing for a sentence of reformative training instead. Justice Chao, who said he had been "troubled" by the case, said he felt they should have been sent for reformative training. But he eventually decided against it as it would amount to "double punishment" for the trio.