tahfiz
Two teenage boys faced 23 charges over the murder of 21 tahfiz students and two teachers of a religious residential school here two weeks ago at the Magistrate’s Court here today.

No plea was recorded from the boys, both aged 16, because murder cases come under the jurisdiction of the High Court.

They were jointly charged with the murder of the 23 people at the Pusat Tahfiz Darul Ittifaqiyah in Jalan Keramat Hujung, Kampung Datuk Keramat, Wangsa Maju, between 4.15 am and 6.45 am on Sept 14.

They were charged under Section 302 of the Penal Code, read together with Section 34 of the Penal Code, which provides for the mandatory death sentence upon conviction.

However Section 97(1) of the Child Act 2001 states that a child under the age of 18 who is convicted of murder will not face the death sentence.

Section 94 of the Act provides a child convicted of murder could be ordered by the court to be detained at the pleasure of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong.

The proceedings, which were held in camera from 12.05 pm to 12.25 pm because it involved juveniles, took place at Magistrate’s Court 7 before Magistrate Siti Radziah Kamarudin. Only the families of the accused were allowed into the courtroom.

Meanwhile five teenagers, including two who are facing a charge of murdering students and teachers at a religious school in Kampung Datuk Keramat, and a 12-year-old boy, were charged in two separate magistrate’s courts here today with taking ganja and syabu.

The two murder accused, aged 16, pleaded guilty to committing the offence in a toilet at D7, Criminal Investigation Department, Contingent Police Headquarters here, around 11.35 am on Sept 16.

Magistrate Zilfinaz Abbas deferred sentencing to Nov 28 pending their probation reports and the chemist’s reports.

The other two teenagers, aged 16 and 17, and the 12-year-old, claimed trial. They allegedly committed the offence at the same place, time and date.

Meanwhile, many victims’ families when met by reporters said they forgave the accused but could not forget what had happened.

Mas Aliza Ali Bapoo, 22, who is a cousin of three victims, Muhd Syafiq Haikal Mohd Sulaiman, 13; Muhd Hafiz Iskandar, 11, and Muhd Harris Ikhwan, 10, said the family would leave it to the court on the matter.

“We have accepted the tragedy as life has to go on. We will leave it to the court. Let them judge on the case,” said Mas Aliza who added the mother of the three fire victims was not present at the proceeding.

Besides that Datuk Dr Sharifuddin Musa, 45, father of Mohd Shahir, 11, who was rescued from the fire said he attended the proceeding to view the case for himself.

“I tried to attend the proceeding but was ordered out as only the families of the accused were allowed in court,” he said.

In the incident at 5.15 am on Sept 14, 21 students and two teachers died when they were trapped on the third floor of the religious residential school hostel which was on fire.

Fire and Rescue director-general Datuk Wan Mohd Nor Ibrahim confirmed the fire was an arson as two gas tanks as well as petrol were found splashed on school furniture and wall on the third floor of the building.

— BERNAMA



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