DALAM MAHKAMAH RAYUAN MALAYSIA
(BIDANG KUASA RAYUAN)
RAYUAN JENAYAH NO.: B-05-85-04/2013 (IRN)
MOHAMMAD REZA LAJEVARDI TAGHI …PERAYU
PENDAKWA RAYA …RESPONDEN
(Dalam Perkara Mahkamah Tinggi Malaya di Shah Alam
Perbicaraan Jenayah No. 45A-106 TAHUN 2011)
Mohammad Reza Lajevardi Taghi
MOHD. ZAWAWI BIN SALLEH, HMR
VARGHESE A/L GEORGE VARUGHESE, HMR
PRASAD SANDOSHAM ABRAHAM, HMR
Decision Date: 20th November 2014
GROUNDS OF THE COURT
 The appellant was charged with trafficking in 419.7 grams of
methamphetamine under section 39B (1)(a) of the Dangerous Drugs Act
1952 (“DDA”). He was convicted and sentenced under section 39B (2)
of the DDA. Aggrieved, the appellant now appeals to this Court.
 The charge against the appellant was as follows:
“Bahawa kamu pada 01hb Januari 2011, jam Iebih kurang 9.50
pagi, bertempat di Kawasan Tuntutan Bagasi G, Balai Ketibaan
Aras 3, MTB, KLIA, dalam Daerah Sepang, di dalam Negeri
Selangor Darul Ehsan, telah didapati mengedar dadah berbahaya
iaitu Methampetamine seberat 419.7 gram dan dengan itu kamu
telah melakukan suatu kesalahan di bawah Seksyen 39B (1) (a)
Akta Dadah Berbahaya 1952 yang boleh dihukum di bawah
Seksyen 39B (2) Akta yang sama.”
 The prosecution had called 12 witnesses to testify. At the end of
the prosecution’s case, the learned trial Judge found a prima facie case
against the appellant and ordered the appellant to enter his defence.
The appellant elected to give unsworn evidence from the dock.
 At the end of the defence case, the learned Judge found that the
appellant had failed to raise any reasonable doubt against the
prosecution’s case and consequently the appellant was convicted in
respect of the said charge and sentenced to death.
 Briefly, the factual scenario which led to the arrest of the appellant
on 1.1. 2011 were as follows:
a) On 1.1.2011, the Arresting Officer, D/Sarjan Hassan bin
Jamil (SP4), was on duty at the Baggage Claim Area at the
third floor of the Arrival Hall, KLIA from 9.00 in the morning.
b) As SP4 was observing Carousel G for the arrival of
passengers from flight No. QR 620, he noticed that the
appellant was walking towards the exit through the green
lane with a grey colour trolley bag.
c) SP4 then directed his team member, D/Kpl Zulkefli, to stop
the appellant and ordered D/Kpl Zulkefli to scan the
appellant’s bag. At the time when the bag was scanned SP4
was also present there with D/KpI Zulkefli.
d) After the bag was scanned, SP4 found nothing suspicious
appearing on the screen of the scanner. SP4 then asked the
appellant to open his bag which the appellant obeyed and
opened his bag.
e) When the bag was opened for SP4 to inspect, SP4 only
found clothes in the bag.
f) SP4 then opened the sides of the bag where he realised it
was glued together. SP4 found a piece of white cotton below
a hard piece of plastic underneath the bag.
g) SP4 then took a sample of the white cotton and tested it on a
test strip for drugs. The result came back positive for drugs.
h) SP4 then arrested the appellant and confiscated the
appellant’s bag. SP4 informed the appellant that there were
drugs found in his bag.
i) SP4 checked the appellant’s pouch bag and found nothing
suspicious except for his documents and money. SP4 then
took away the appellant’s passport.
j) SP4 then made a police report No. KLIA Sepang 08/2011
and handed over the exhibits to SP10 at the Narcotic Office
in IPD Sepang.
k) The appellant was charged with trafficking 419.7 grams
I) The prosecution relied on the statutory presumption under
Section 37(d) of the Dangerous Drugs Act 1952.
Findings of the High Court
 At the conclusion of the trial, the learned trial Judge found the
appellant had failed to cast a reasonable doubt on the prosecution’s
case and proceeded to find him guilty. The learned trial Judge reasoned
a) The appellant’s unsworn statement carried no value and thus
has no weight for the court to consider;
b) The defence was a bare denial and the story was concocted;
c) The appellant had failed to rebut the presumption of
knowledge of the incriminating items and he had custody and
control over them; and
d) SDI and SD2 were “interested witnesses” who had no
knowledge of the facts but only the version told to them by
 The written submissions of the appellant focuses mainly on the
knowledge on the part of the appellant and not possession. And our
analysis of the appellant’s case proceeds accordingly.
 The burden to prove the existence of knowledge on the part of the
appellant of the drugs found in the bag remains squarely on the
prosecution. We refer to the decision of the Federal Court in Mohamad
Radhi Yaakob v. PP  1 CLJ (Rep) 311 where the Court held:
“It is a well-established principle of Malaysian criminal law that
the general burden of proof lies throughout the trial on the
prosecution to prove beyond reasonable doubt the guilt of the
accused for the offence with which he is charged. There is no
similar burden placed on the accused to prove his innocence.
He is presumed innocent until proven guilty. To earn an
acquittal, his duty is merely to cast a reasonable doubt in the
prosecution case. In the course of the prosecution case, the
prosecution may of course rely on available statutory
presumptions to prove one or more of the essential ingredients
of the charge. When that occurs, the particular burden of proof
as opposed to the general burden, shifts to the defence to rebut
such presumptions on the balance of probabilities which from
the defence point of view is heavier than the burden of casting a
reasonable doubt, but it is certainly lighter than the burden of
the prosecution to prove beyond reasonable doubt... If defence
is called, the duty of the accused is only to cast a reasonable
doubt in the prosecution case. He is not required to prove his
innocence beyond reasonable doubt”.
 The case of Warner v. Metropolitan Police Commissioner
, set some guidelines which have been followed in many
jurisdictions including ours. In particular, Lord Wilberfore stated:
“In order to decide between these two (possession and mere
control) the jury should …. be invited to consider all the
circumstances – the ‘modes or events’ by which the custody
commences and the legal incident in which it is held. By
these I mean, relating them to typical situations, that they
must consider the manner and the circumstances in which the
substance, or something which contains it, has been received,
what knowledge or means of knowledge or guilty knowledge
as to the presence of the substance, or as to the nature of
what has been received, the accused had at the time of
receipt or thereafter up to the moment when he is found with
it; his legal relation to the substance or package (including his
right to access of it). On such matters as these (not
exhaustively stated) they must make the decision whether, in
addition to physical control, he has, or ought to have imputed
to him, the intention to possess, or knowledge that he does
possess, what is in fact a prohibited substance. If he has this
intention or knowledge, it is not additionally necessary that he
should know the nature of the substance”.
 Discerning from the proved facts of this instant appeal one will see
that appellant has made reference to 3 persons namely Farshad, Akbar
and Mahmud, in his version of the events that took place that would go
to support the appellant’s contention that the appellant lacked the
knowledge of the presence of the drugs in the bag. The Public
Prosecutor had re-examined the Investigating Officer, Inspector Eddy
Amin bin Hussin Ala (SP10), on these names during the investigation of
the case. SP10’s evidence at page 183 of the Appeal Record (herein
after referred to “AR”) Vol. 2 as set out below confirms that:
“S: Dalam siasatan awak adakah OKT beritahu tentang
pekerjaan beliau dan tentang tugas beliau ke Malaysia?
J: Saya tidak diberitahu.
S: Adakah pada bila-bila masa dalam siasatan kamu timbul
nama Akbar, Mahmud dan Farshad?
J: Dalam siasatan saya ada disebut melalui cautioned