Indonesian worker escapes death penalty in Malaysia

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (ANTARA News) - Masud bin Kamaruddin (37), a migrant worker from Mamuju district, West Sulawesi province, has been spared from a death "hanging" penalty by the Malaysian High Court in Sabah, an official said here on Tuesday.

After attending the trial, the judge panel, led by Datuk Mairin bin Idang Martin, on Monday decided to sentence the suspect to 30 years imprisonment for death due to negligence (Law No.304), the Indonesian Consulate General to Malaysia in Kinabalu stated.

Earlier, the prosecutors had sentenced Masud to capital punishment for voluntary manslaughter, according to the Law No.302.

In his sentence, the judge revealed that the migrant worker had involuntarily killed his wife, Kartina binti Sanusi.

The attack started with an argument, after Mas'ud accused his wife of having an affair with another man.

During the fight, Mas'ud seized a machete from his wife and fatally attacked her.

However, instead of reporting the incident to the police, Masud hid in the palm oil plantation for seven days, before being captured by the police on Sept 18.

Following the verdict, the head of Indonesian citizens protection task force in Kinabalu, Hadi Syarifuddin, remarked that the judges believed the suspect had never planned the homicide.

Meanwhile, the Indonesian counselor in Kinabalu, Akhmad DH Irfan, explained that the countrys representative would provide legal assistance to all its citizens living in Malaysia.

"The Consulate General would continue to follow Masuds case. I hope this case would serve as a lesson to the other Indonesian citizens living overseas on refraining from using violence to solve issues," Irfan concluded.

Apart from Masud, the consulate general is handling 11 death penalty cases of Indonesian citizens in Malaysia. (*)