By Bernama

A former college student escaped the hangman’s noose today after the Court of Appeal set aside his conviction for the murder of a gangster.

A three-member bench led by Justice Datuk Vazeer Alam Mydin Meera, in a unanimous decision, discharged, and acquitted P. Dhivyaprabu after ruling that his conviction for murder was not safe.

He said identification of Dhivyaprabu as the person who inflicted the stab wound on the deceased, Muhammad Jeffri Abu Bakar, was unsatisfactory.

He said the court found serious misdirection by the High Court judge in fulfilling section 300 of the Penal Code as well as on the assessment of evidence in support of his findings.

The other two judges were Datuk Wira Ahmad Nasfy Yasin and Datuk Nordin Hassan.

Dhivyaprabu, 25, was found guilty of murdering Muhammad Jeffri, 22, and was sentenced to death by the High Court on 30 May 2019.

He was accused of committing the offence in a pub in Publika Hartamas, Sentul, Kuala Lumpur between 4am and 4.15am on 28 January 2017. 

The court heard submissions made by Dhivyaprabu’s lead counsel Gooi Soon Seng who said his client and 10 of his friends including three girls had gone to the pub to celebrate the birthday of one of his friends.

He said that after the session in the pub, there was an argument with another group, adding that there were about 20 people involved in the fight.

He said in the ensuing brawl, the deceased was stabbed with a three-inch knife.

Gooi said Dhivyaprabu should have been acquitted without his defence being called as his identification was based on a closed-circuit television (CCTV) camera footage which was held inadmissible by the High Court.

He said yet the High Court judge relied on the footage during the defence stage.

Gooi said his client ran away to Johor but returned later as the deceased was a big-time gangster and several police reports were made against him.

Also representing Dhivyaprabu were lawyers Amer Hamzah Arshad, Joshua Tay, and Ooi Pen Lyn while Deputy Public Prosecutors Samihah Rhazali and Muhammad Azmi Mashud prosecuted the case.