Man gets death for beheading doctor 4 years ago

PUTRAJAYA - A Pakistani who beheaded a doctor for insulting his religion will be hanged.

The Federal Court dismissed his appeal against the death sentence for the gruesome murder committed four years ago over a remark against the Kaabah (the holy site for Muslims).

Shafaqat Ali Ghulam Nabi, 33, was accused of murdering Harjit Singh Bachan Singh on Aug 23, 2011, at his home in Kampung Sungai Padang, Pahang.

He had been employed by Harjit Singh, then 51, to tend to his garden and grow frangipanis.

According to court papers, Shafaqat was driven to murder after an insult that the prison doctor made against the Kaabah nearly eight months earlier.

On the night of the incident, Shafaqat invited his friend Jamsheet Ali and Harjit Singh to his house.

The Pakistani asked his friend to leave the living room, then demanded an apology from Harjit Singh over the insult, threatening him with a parang.

When Jamsheet came back to the living room, he saw that the doctor had been beheaded, a crime that Shafaqat confessed to.

During the trial at the Kuantan High Court, a neighbour testified that Shafaqat had given him RM100, asking that it be donated to a local mosque as penance for the murder.

Shafaqat was on Tuesday appealing against the High Court's decision to sentence him to death.

His lawyer Kitson Foong submitted that under Section 342 of the Criminal Procedure Code, a person of unsound mind is unable to defend himself and unfit to be tried.

However, DPP Wan Shaharuddin Wan Ladin argued that the intention of Section 342 was to determine a person's mental state when the case is brought to court, not when committing the offence.

He added that provocation could not be used as a licence to kill someone in cold blood.

Chief Judge of Malaya Justice Zulkefli Ahmad Makinudin dismissed the final-stage appeal, agreeing that the murder was cruel and disproportionate to the supposed provocation.

He also found the provocation defence failed as the insult was made about eight months before the killing.

The panel, which included Chief Judge of Sabah and Sarawak Justice Richard Malanjum and Justices Zainun Ali, Ramly Ali and Zaharah Ibrahim, ruled that the conviction was safe.

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