Drug Trial Date Set for Fi­jian Woman Held In Malaysia

Fiji Sun - - Front Page - JYOTI PRATIBHA Feed­back: jy­otip@fi­jisun.com.fj Edited by Naisa Koroi

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.

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