KUALA LUMPUR - Five vigilantes were sentenced to death by the High Court over the fatal beating of a suspected robber.
Security guard M. Yogesvaran, 24, army officers Mohamad Hairul Abdullah and Lawrence anak Masing, both 34, self-employed Zaidi Zainal , 31, and supervisor Chong Kai Weng, 31, were found guilty of the murder of Mohd Yusof Abd Khalib, then 26.
The beating occurred outside the V-Club Snooker club in Taman Intan Biaduri, Sentul, here at 8.30pm on May 1, 2016.
The victim was taken to hospital where he died the next day.
Judicial Commissioner Mohamad Shariff Abu Samah ruled the prosecution had proven its case beyond reasonable doubt, while the defence was a mere denial.
He also found that their claim of making a citizen's arrest with the intent of handing the supposed robber over to the police as "nonsense".
"Although the victim might have been a robber, the correct measure would be to take him to the police station, not to attack him like a tiger hungry for its own justice," he said in reading a 245-page written judgement Wednesday.
JC Mohamad Shariff sentenced the five to death by hanging under Section 302 of the Penal Code which carries the mandatory death sentence.
Gasps and sobs could be heard from the public gallery when the family members of the accused heard the death sentence.
The accused were represented by lawyer M. Jagesh, while Deputy Public Prosecutor Ahmad Nazneen Zulkifli prosecuted.
The defence called eight witnesses, including the accused, while the prosecution called 17.