Three brothers face hangman’s noose in MalaysiaJune 3rd, 2011 - 3:03 pm ICT by IANS
Kuala Lumpur, June 3 (IANS/EFE) Malaysia’s high court Thursday threw out the motion for dismissal of the charges against three Mexican brothers accused of drug trafficking, a crime punishable by hanging in the Asian nation.
The ruling, which was announced by Judge Mohamed Zawawi, shattered the hopes of brothers Luis Alfonso, 47, Jose Regino, 36, and Simon, 33, Gonzalez Villarreal, who have been jailed since their arrests in March 2008 during a police raid on a garage in the city of Johor.
Dismissal of the charges would have opened the way for the brothers’ deportation to Mexico.
The Mexicans and the two other men accused in the case - a Malaysian and a Singaporean - were led away in handcuffs after the two-hour hearing and were taken to the Sungai Buloh federal prison on the outskirts of Kuala Lumpur.
“I am a bit sad about what happened,” Jose Regino told reporters.
The judge read the 37-page ruling, which was translated into Spanish for the brothers by an interpreter, to the courtroom.
On March 28, Judge Zawawi postponed the start of the trial in response to a defense request for a review of the handling of the evidence.
The defense contends that there are discrepancies in the police reports about the colour and chemical composition of the drugs and chemical precursors that the Mexicans allegedly had in their possession.
“This court does not agree with the contention that justice will not be done if it does not review its own conclusions,” the judge said.
The Mexicans and the two other suspects were arrested by police in a raid that resulted in the seizure of 29 kg of methamphetamines worth 44 million ringgit ($15 million).
The five men are accused of producing and distributing illegal drugs.
If convicted, the five could be hanged under Malaysian law, which makes the possession and trafficking of more than 15 grams of heroin or cocaine, or 200 grams of marijuana, a capital offense.
The death sentence is automatic and cannot be appealed, and only the governor of Johor, where the crimes were committed, can provide clemency.
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Tags: asian nation, capital offense, chemical composition, chemical precursors, death sentence, defense request, drug trafficking, federal prison, five men, hangman, illegal drugs, luis alfonso, mexicans, police raid, police reports, regino, singaporean, sungai buloh, villarreal, zawawi