KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 5 ― The family members of Aminulrasyid Amzah, the schoolboy shot dead two years ago by police corporal Jenain Subi, are distraught that his killer was set free today by a High Court here, calling the decision “unfair”.
A sobbing Azura Amzah, Aminulrasyid’s older sister, told The Malaysian Insider that her family was still reeling in shock that Jenain’s earlier conviction was overturned, when they had fought tooth and nail for two years to seek justice for the 15-year-old boy’s death.
“The court’s decision is unfair. I really see it as unfair to us,” she said when contacted here.
“We will discuss with our lawyers on further action,” she added.
Justice Abdul Rahman Sebli overturned Jenain’s conviction in a High Court today, saying that evidence did not support any suggestion that the policeman’s intended to kill Aminulrasyid despite firing over 20 shots from a submachine gun at the teen.
“No prima facie case had in fact been established against the appellant and his defence should not have been called,” he said in his ruling.
The judge also said the loss of life was unfortunate but that the police must not be blamed for the death.
Responding, PKR leaders Nurul Izzah Anwar and N. Surendran urged the Attorney-General’s Chambers (AGC) to appeal the court’s decision, pointing out that today’s ruling ultimately meant that nobody will be held accountable for Aminulrasyid’s death.
“The government, Attorney-General and police must bear full responsibility for the failure to secure a single conviction,” they said in a joint statement here.
They agreed with previous theories that the police tried to absolve themselves from all blame in the case, even allegedly “fabricating evidence” to prove their innocence, and demanded an apology from the government, Home Ministry and Inspector-General of Police (IGP).
“The government and the police leadership made every attempt to prevent the truth from emerging in this case,” Nurul Izzah and Surendran said in the statement.
“For the family who suffered this tragic and enormously painful loss, there can now be no closure,” the two added.
Aminulrasyid, then 15, was killed in the early hours of April 26 in 2010, after taking a midnight joyride in a car and was allegedly mistaken for a felon on the run by the police.
He had been driving a white Proton Iswara with his best friend and neighbour, 15-year-old Muhammad Azamuddin Omar in the front passenger seat. Their car had crashed into the curb at Jalan Tarian 11/2, Section 11 following a police pursuit.
A public outcry followed as the police sought to defend themselves over the incident as well as dubitable reports of the discovery of a machete in the car driven by Aminulrasyid.
But in September last year, Jenain was found guilty of culpable homicide not amounting to murder and sentenced to five years’ jail after Sessions Court judge Latifah Mohd Tahar ruled that the use of lethal force to stop Aminulrasyid’s car was excessive and uncalled for.
“The court finds that the situation on Jalan Tarian wasn’t dangerous to anyone, including the accused, and that it was not necessary for the accused to discharge his weapon, let alone fire 21 shots... from his submachine gun,” Latifah said in her judgment.
The judge said she had tried to balance public interest and the fact that Jenain had been discharging his duty as a policeman the night of the incident, before sentencing the corporal to the jail term.
Under Section 304(a) of the Penal Code, the charge for culpable homicide not amounting to murder carries a maximum penalty of up to 30 years’ imprisonment and a fine.
Jenain had admitted to firing 21 bullets from his HK MP5 submachine gun at Aminulrasyid’s Proton Iswara in an effort to stop the car — which had earlier run a roadblock — but denied trying to kill the teenager.