Bird's nest trader on drug raps escapes the gallows

Bird's nest trader on drug raps escapes the gallows
Free to go: Chang thanking Ranjit Singh after he was acquitted by the High Court in George Town.
PHOTO: The Star/ANN

GEORGE TOWN - A businessman walked out a free man from a High Court here after he was acquitted of two drug-related charges, one of which carried the death penalty.

Judicial Commissioner Collin Lawrence Sequerah yesterday freed Chang Kok Foo, 55, without calling for his defence.

He ruled that the prosecution had failed to prove a prima facie case against Chang on both counts.

Chang, who deals in bird's nests, was charged with trafficking in 375.3gm of methamphetamine at a house in Jalan Sultan Azlan Shah, Sungai Nibong near here at around 5pm on July 31, 2013.

The offence under Section 39B(1)(a) of the Dangerous Drugs Act 1952 carries the mandatory death sentence.

He was also charged with possessing 12.2g of monoacetylmorphine at the same place and time.

Collin said the prosecution failed to present evidence to prove the exclusive possession of the drugs which were found hidden beside a dressing table by the accused.

"The electricity bill for the house was also not under his name," he said.

DPP Dharliza Dris prosecuted while Chang was represented by Datuk Ranjit Singh Dhillon.

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