Kuala Lumpur: A 19-year-old teenager found guilty of murdering 23 people three years ago has escaped the execution and instead “detained in prison” at the pleasure of the Malaysian King in accordance with Section 97(1) of the Child Act 2001. Under normal circumstances, convictions under Section 302 of the Penal Code carry a mandatory death sentence.
The 19-year-old along with another unidentified individual set on fire a Islamic school, Pusat Tahfiz Darul Quran Ittifaqiyah, which killed 21 students and two teachers.
The deaths of 23 persons was one of the biggest mass killings in Malaysia.
The incident occurred between 4.15am and 6.45am on Sept 14, 2017, in Kampung Datuk Keramat, about 5km from the Petronas Twin Towers.
In his decision, Justice Azman Abdullah said the accused, who was 16 years old at the time of the offence, had failed to raise reasonable doubt in his defence.
“The prosecution had proven their case beyond reasonable doubt,” he said on Monday, as quoted by The Star.
“It is up to the King now to determine the terms and condition of the teenager’s detention from time to time,” the judge said.
“I pray for those deceased to be granted heaven,” Justice Azman said before adjourning proceedings.