Acquittal 'rare', say lawyers

Mohamed Redha Abdul Mutalib has been charged with the murder of his mother.

SINGAPORE- Acquittal of murder on grounds of temporary insanity is rare, lawyers The New Paper spoke to here say.

Yesterday, former Institute of Medical Health (IMH) health-care assistant Mohamed Redha Abdul Mutalib, 32, was acquitted on these grounds of murdering his mother.

One of his lawyers, Mr R.S Bajwa, said the matter will be referred to the Home Affairs Minister, who will then issue an order for Mr Mohamed Redha to be detained at the IMH at the President's pleasure.

Another lawyer, Mr Louis Joseph from Regent Law, said that he had never heard of such an acquittal in his 25 years of practice.

REVIEW

He said: "The case will be reviewed periodically to ascertain whether he is fit to be released. Theoretically, he can be detained for any length of time, from a few years to a lifetime.

"But for this case, as he had killed somebody, I think he could be detained for quite a substantial period of time. Maybe about 20 years or so."

Also describing the acquittal as "rare", lawyer Gloria James-Civetta said that she had never heard of such an outcome in her 19 years of practice.

The closest that she could think of was a case she handled about 10 years ago, about a man who was accused of molest.

He was detained at the IMH for a psychiatric evaluation. While there, he molested another woman.

"However, charges were later dropped due to his psychiatric condition," said Ms James-Civetta.


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