Malaysia overturns capital punishment against two Cypriots, sentenced for drug smuggling
Two Cypriot nationals, who were facing capital punishment in Malaysia for drug trafficking, will now serve a 20 year sentence, after the country’s Supreme court annulled the decision at first instance. According to an announcement by the Cyprus Foreign Ministry, which was involved in providing and arranging consular and legal support to Mehmet Ucaner Oktay and Muhammet Osman, the decision was taken during an appeal hearing on Monday. One of the two was also sentenced to caning. The sentence is effective as of November 5, 2011, when the two were initially sentenced.
From the moment of their arrest until the final decision, both Cypriots received full consular support, including regular visits by Cyprus High Commission officials serving in New Delhi, as well as psychological and financial support, the announcement said. Moreover, the Ministry also provided legal aid. The gravity of the offense, as well as the principled position of the Republic of Cyprus against the death penalty were taken into account, in the handling of the affair, the announcement concluded.