Prima Facie and Burden of Proof


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Prima Facie and Burden of Proof

  1. 1. Appellant – convicted – trafficking in cannabis 1,396.7g – s 39B(1)(a) DDA Appeal – allowed – conviction quashed – sentence of death set aside Reaffirmed the decision in Khoo Hi Chiang (1994) Decline to follow Haw Tua Tau (1983), Tan Boon Kean (1995) Edgar Joseph Jr FCJ speaking for (4:3) said (p 55): “... the duty of the court, at the close of the case for the prosecution, is to ... determine whether or not the prosecution has established the charge against the accused beyond all reasonable doubt” IZZAH ZAHIN ALIMAN
  2. 2. 1st Stage: - court must be satisfied that each & every ingredient of the offence charged had been proved by the prosecution BRD - meaning: court in calling the OKT to enter on his defence has already made a finding on the guilt of OKT - at the end, if no evidence at rebuttal OKT CONVICTED (on the evidence adduced by PP) 2nd Stage: - Comes after Defence has been called - Defence: rebut the PP evidence @ raise a reasonable doubt as to the PP case - at the end, duty of court to consider the Defence’s evidence in the light of PP evidence – make a finding on the guilt of OKT IZZAH ZAHIN ALIMAN
  3. 3. Federal Court held: Prosecution must prove every ingredient of the charge and At the end of the Prosecution case, the court should evaluate all admissible evidence as adduced as relevant to the charge and decide whether to call upon the accused to enter defence Thus, the standard of proof was beyond reasonable doubt which called for maximum evaluation of evidence tendered by the Prosecution IZZAH ZAHIN ALIMAN
  4. 4. NOTE: The old section 180 CPC was amended in 1997 with effect from January 31, 1997, taken away the phrase “which if unrebutted would warrant his conviction” The amendment to s 173(f) introduced the ‘’prima facie' standard of proof ‘ to replace the ‘'beyond reasonable doubt' ‘test at the close of the prosecution case to end the various uncertainties on the correct test to apply at the close of the prosecution case IZZAH ZAHIN ALIMAN
  5. 5. Appellant charged – - theft of 2 chickens - (alt.)dishonestly retaining stolen property - convicted Appeal – Defence counsel: Mag. misdirected – meaning burden of proof, where it is necessary for OKT to rebut the prosecution case against him – appeal allowed IZZAH ZAHIN ALIMAN
  6. 6.  Suffian J (as His Lordship then was) observed: If you are satisfied BRD as to OKT’s guilt CONVICT If you accept or believe the OKT’s explanation ACQUIT if you do not accept or believe the OKT’s explanation And that explanation does not raise in your mind a reasonable doubt as to his guilt CONVICT But nevertheless it raises in your mind a reasonable doubt as to his guilt ACQUIT IZZAH ZAHIN ALIMAN
  7. 7. Respondent – charged – murder – Noritta Samsuddin Acquitted & discharged Trial J – PP failed to establish prima facie case PP appealed – issue: Trial J applied too heavy burden ‘BRD’ on PP at the close for prosecution case which ought to be applied only at the end of the whole case upon evaluating the case for OKT as well Appeal dismissed Followed Looi Kow Chai (2003) IZZAH ZAHIN ALIMAN
  8. 8. the Court of Appeal accepted in totality the High Court approach to maximum evaluation and formulated 'prima facie' to mean a scrutiny of material evidence on a maximum evaluation yardstick in order to determine if those strands of evidence have satisfied the legal requirements to support a finding of a prima facie case necessary for court to consider the gaps and inferences that arose from those circumstantial evidences Trial J had correctly applied - the principle when assessing circumstantial evidence; he had held that there was a likelihood of another person having committed the offence. Thus no prima facie case had been made out at the close of prosecution case - The defence was not called and the accused was acquitted and discharged. If the prosecution's case is based on circumstantial evidence, the evidence proved must irresistibly point to one and only one conclusion, the guilt of OKT IZZAH ZAHIN ALIMAN
  9. 9. NOTE Further amendment 2006/2007 -Inserting the definition of PRIMA FACIE in sections 173 (h)(iii) & 180(4) CPC -Current Standard (at the close of Prosecution case) MAXIMUM STANDARD ≠ BRD IZZAH ZAHIN ALIMAN
  10. 10. MINIMUM STANDARD MAXIMUM STANDARD Presumed all facts are true Credible evidence which stand alone would be so strong to convict the accused should the accused remains silent Questions of laws only Evaluate issues of laws + factsCredibility and veracity to be evaluated at the end of trial The Accused may remain silent at the end of the case for Prosecution Must convict - the accused person says nothing IZZAH ZAHIN ALIMAN
  11. 11. Standard of Proof Close of PP's Case ACCUSED? Conclusion of the Whole Trial ACCUSED? Prima Facie (i) Yes (ii) No -Entered defence - Acquittal Beyond Reasonable Doubt (i) Yes (ii) No - Convicted & sentenced (inclusive of accused remaining silent) - Acquittal IZZAH ZAHIN ALIMAN
  12. 12. SUMMARY TRIALS HIGH COURT TRIALS s 173(f)(i) s 180(1) s 173(f)(ii) s 180(2) s 173(h)(i) s 180(3) s 173(m)(i) s 182A(1) s 173(m)(ii) s 182A(2) s 173(m)(iii) s 182A(3) IZZAH ZAHIN ALIMAN