Ex-MyWatch chairman, R Sri Sanjeevan, wins appeal against blackmail conviction

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Ex-MyWatch chairman wins appeal against blackmail conviction

V Anbalagan

October 27, 2022 4:17 PM

PUTRAJAYA: Former Malaysian Crime Watch Task Force (MyWatch) chairman R Sri Sanjeevan has won his final appeal against his conviction for blackmailing a businessman nine years ago.

A three-member Court of Appeal panel chaired by justice Ahmad Nasfy Yasin said Sanjeevan, 38, was denied a fair trial which resulted in a miscarriage of justice.

He said this was because the prosecution did not call seven witnesses who were present at the crime scene to testify nor were they offered to Sanjeevan when he was ordered to enter his defence.

“The conviction is unsafe and must be quashed,” the judge said.

Nasfy, who sat with justices Ahmad Zaidi Zainal and Mariana Yahya, said the High Court also erred when affirming the judgment of a magistrate who had wrongly imposed a higher burden of proof on Sanjeevan.

The magistrate had ruled that Sanjeevan was required to prove his case on a balance of probabilities.

However, lawyer V Sithambaram submitted earlier today the defence needed only to create a reasonable doubt in the prosecution’s case.

“We find the higher burden placed on the appellant fatal,” he said.

Nasfy said the identification of Sanjeevan from the dock by prosecution witnesses during the trial was also doubtful.

“(That) is not positive identification,” he said.

Sithambaram, who was assisted by S Preakas and Miguel Sequerah, had submitted that no identification parade was conducted.

Nasfy also said the investigating officer had failed to take a statement from Sanjeevan nor investigate the case.

On April 28, Sanjeevan obtained leave from the Court of Appeal to hear the merits of his appeal after nine legal questions were allowed. Leave was necessary as the matter originated from the magistrates’ court.

https://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/category/nation/2022/10/27/ex-mywatch-chairman-wins-appeal-against-blackmail-conviction/

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