Drug Trial Date Set for Fijian Woman Held In Malaysia
Atrial date has been set for a Fijian in a Malaysian prison facing serious drug charges.
Christin Nirmal, 27, will appear on November 1-4 after being detained on February 15 last year. She was caught with about 1.51 kilograms of methamphetamine at the Kuala Lumpur Airport while she was travelling from Hong Kong. She is being held under Section 39 (B) of Malaysian Dangerous Drugs Act of 1952. Carrying more than 50 grams of methamphetamines, also known as ice, can warrant the death penalty in Malaysia, which like its neighbours Indonesia, has strict antidrug trafficking laws. A Government brief providing an update on Nirmal, a mother of three, stated that a trial date has been set for November 1 to 4 Nirmal is currently being represented by Rashid Zulkifli Adocates & Solicitors and Death Penalty Project Lawyers. The legal charge is pro bono. Her case was last heard at the Shah Alam High Court on 25 March 2016. Her lawyers requested to write a Letter of Representation to the Prosecution to either withdraw or reduce the charge against Nirmal. The next case management date is set for May 27. She is currently being held in remand at Kajang Women’s Prison in Malaysia. She was detained on 25 January 2015 for charges of drug trafficking. If convicted by the High Court of Malaysia, Nirmal could face the possibility of a death sentence. Fijian High Commission in Malaysia continues to provide Nirmal with the necessary support and assistance through regular visits to the prison, attending court hearings, and arranging dietary meals. The High Commission has also been following up on issues raised by Nirmal, providing personal amenities and assisting in obtaining legal representation. It has opened up a Prison Account for Nirmal which is replenished with RM500 (Fijian$250) during monthly visits. RM stands for Malayasia currency Ringgit. Out of the RM500, RM450 is paid for her special meal plan as she suffered digestive problems with the normal prison food. The Fijian diaspora through their church service also contribute RM100 (Fijian$52) to the Mission’s monthly prison visit. This enables Nirmal to attend to her other basic needs. According to the brief, Nirmal raised a few issues regarding her treatment at the prison. These included: deteriorating health condition, discrimination against foreign prisoners, verbal and physical abuse, language barrier, and unhygienic food and water supply. The High Commission communicated the issues raised to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Malaysia who then referred these to the prison authorities. The Prison Department provided an explanation and assured their support.
The main entrance to the Kajang Women’s Prison in Malaysia where Christin Nirmal is being held.