Aussie compares himself to a 'cat with nine lives' after court upholds drug trafficking acquittal

Andrew (middle) is all smiles as he speaks with media outside the courtroom, after being acquitted. With him are his lawyers, (left) Datuk Muhammad Shafee and (right) Scivetti.

PUTRAJAYA: Australian Dominic Jude Bird is "free as a bird" after the Court of Appeal here upheld his acquittal of drug trafficking.

Panel chairperson Justices Aziah Ali ruled that the trial judge had sufficiently considered the arguments brought before him and was correct to find reasonable doubt in the prosecution's case.

She said the Kuala Lumpur High Court was correct to question the credibility of witness, Inspector Luther Nurjib @ Andrew, who had acted as agent provocateur in arresting Bird during a raid.

Justices Aziah also agreed with the decision to reject the evidence brought by witness, Inspector Asfanizaril Shahfry Zainoldin, who testified that he had seen Bird handle the alleged drugs.

The three-person panel, which included Justices Tengku Maimun Tuan Mat and Abang Iskandar Abang Hashim, unanimouly upheld the Kuala Lumpur High Court's decision to acquit and discharge Bird.

Upon hearing the Court of Appeal's decision on Wednesday, Bird appeared overjoyed and was seen smiling.

Speaking to reporters after the hearing, the 34-year-old from Perth said he was looking forward to going back to his own house and sleeping in his own bed.

Bird compared himself "to a cat with nine lives", when asked how he felt about escaping the noose twice.

Bird added that while he hoped the matter was over, he was willing to come back to Malaysia and "face the music" should the prosecution appeal against the Court of Appeal's decision.

His counsel Datuk Muhammad Shafee Abdullah told reporters he was "excited" that the case was over and felt it was unlikely to be appealed to the Federal Court.

Bird was also represented by counsel Tania Scivetti and S. Sheelan, while DPP Awang Armadajaya acted for the prosecution.

On Sept 4, Justice Kamardin Hashim acquitted and discharged Bird, ruling that the defence had succeeded in casting reasonable doubt.

Bird had been accused of supplying 167 grams of methamphetamine to an undercover police officer at a coffee outlet on Jalan Yap Kwan Seng here on March 1, 2012.