Zamri Bin Mohd Tahir v Public Prosecutor [2019] SGCA 9


In 2017, the High Court (the “HC”) had convicted Zamri Bin Mohd Thair (“Zamri”) of being in possession of diamorphine for the purposes of trafficking and sentenced him to suffer death (see Public Prosecutor v Zamri Bin Mohd Tahir [2017] SGHC 79). The HC had made a finding that Zamri was not a mere courier of the drugs in question.

We had not acted for Zamri in the High Court proceedings, but were appointed to act in his appeal to the Court of Appeal (the “CA”).

We successfully submitted to the CA that the trial judge had erred in finding that Zamri was not a mere courier. The CA accepted our submissions that it could not have been said that Zamri had in fact done or had committed to doing anything that would take him outside the ambit of the acts of a mere courier as defined in the Misuse of Drugs Act. Crucially, at the time of Zamri’s arrest, no instructions had been given to him as to how to deal with the drugs, and there was no evidence as to what such instructions would have been in any event. In other words, all he had done up to that point in time was nothing more than to collect and transport the drugs.

Notwithstanding the above and given that the Public Prosecutor nevertheless elected not to grant a certificate of substantive assistance to Zamri, the sentence imposed by the trial judge remained undisturbed.


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