KUALA LUMPUR - Slam frontman Zamani Ibrahim has escaped a jail sentence and slapped with a fine instead after he changed his plea to guilty for drug possession.
Speaking at Zamani's sentencing over drug offences, lawyer Che Ahmad Zaharil said his client had turned over a new leaf after checking himself into the Rumah Pengasih rehab programme.
Zamani, 43, together with his personal assistant Nur Juliana Abdul Rani, 32, claimed trial to drug possession and consumption on Jan 29.
However, the duo changed their pleas on Tuesday, admitting to both charges before the Ampang Magistrates Court here.
"Who doesn't know Zamani, Slam rock icon, the man behind Gerimis Mengundang? But let's face it - he's a drug user.
"He's grateful he got arrested by the police. He wants to change and has since checked himself in to a rehabilitation programme," said Che Ahmad.
Che Ahmad asked the Court to give Zamani a chance by letting him prove he could beat his drug addiction.
However, Deputy Public Prosecutor Goh Ai Rene urged the court to hand down a deterrent sentence.
"As the defence said, Zamani is a public figure. He should be setting a good example, not doing drugs," she said.
Goh added that a light sentence would undermine the seriousness of drug offences.
Che Ahmad also pleaded leniency for Nur Juliana, saying she started using drugs due to negative influences but had an otherwise clean record.
Zamani and Nur Juliana faced a fine of up to RM100,000 or a maximum of five years' jail for drug possession and a further RM5,000 or up to two years' jail for drug use.
Magistrate Ayuni Izzaty Sulaiman spared the duo jail, fining them RM5,500 (S$2,043) each and ordering they were placed under police supervision for two years.