'Naked woman' acquitted of drug trafficking charge

'Naked woman' acquitted of drug trafficking charge
Lucky lady: Sidibe is a free woman after the Federal Court’s decision.

PUTRAJAYA: Sidibe Mariame can be considered a lucky woman for getting away with being naked in public and stopping vehicles on the street.

The 26-year-old Nigerian walked out a free woman yesterday after the Federal Court upheld the Kuala Lumpur High Court's decision in 2013 that acquitted her of trafficking in 548.5gm of ­methamphetamine.

Justice Hasan Lah led a five-member panel to dismiss the prosecution's appeal, ­unanimously agreeing that Sidibe was in an intoxicated state and did not know what she was doing at the date, time and place of the crime.

Though the judgment was not elaborated, the judges questioned the prosecution's submission throughout the two rounds of ­submission from both parties.

Justice Mohamed Apandi Ali interfered ­during the prosecution's submission, reminding the court that the case was based on the law of intoxication.

Justice Azahar Mohamed agreed with his ­fellow panel member, saying Sidibe was charged with drug trafficking at a specific place and time, when she was intoxicated.

DPP Wan Shaharuddin Wan Ladin questioned the existence of a man called Michael, whom Sidibe claimed had forced her to swallow ­methamphetamine capsules.

"The learned trial judge did not consider that if Michael was a fictitious person, the defence in this case would crumble," said Wan Shaharuddin.

Sidibe had claimed that Michael threatened to throw her out of the window if she did not swallow the capsules, which he claimed contained traditional medicine.

Wan Shaharuddin said the trial judge had based Michael on ­non-existant facts.

Sidibe's lead counsel Afifuddin Hafifi said the trial judge found his client to be credible.

"It was never challenged that she was not intoxicated and it was not undisputed that she was going around naked and stopping vehicles on the street," he said.

He also pointed out the basis of ­intoxication was due to the fact that 65 capsules were recovered after Sidibe underwent surgery to remove the drugs when she claimed to have swallowed 85 capsules.

"What happened to the rest of the capsules? Did they burst in the stomach? That was agreed by the trial judge," he said.

Upon knowing she was now a free woman, Sidibe cried "thank you"to the judges with her hand in prayer.

Sidibe is the first to have had drug overdose and survived to face trial in Malaysia. She committed her indecent act in 2011in Cheras.

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