A medical graduate charged with damaging statues of Hindu deities at the Sree Muneeswaran Amman Kovil Temple in Ipoh last April was acquitted after he was found to be mentally unsound when committing the act.
Sessions Court Judge Ikmal Hishan Mohd Tajuddin in his judgment said it was clearly proven that the accused Fathi Munzir Nadzri, 29, committed the offence, but a psychiatrist confirmed that he was suffering from Bipolar Affective Disorder with Psychotic Features Manic Phase.
“Yes, he did it, but on the balance of probabilities, he was found to have done it while he was in an unstable state of mind and did not know that he was committing an offence.
“As such, the accused is acquitted under Section 347 of the Criminal Procedure Code with warning according to (Act 593) Section 348 Criminal Procedure Code for the safe custody of person acquitted,” the judge said.
The court also acquitted and discharged Fathi Munzir on the charge of possessing a machete on the same date and place.
“On the possession of the machete, several doubts were raised including the testimony of the main witness who said he saw the accused carrying something like a rod and not a machete, and that the seized weapon was not checked for fingerprints," he said.
Fathi Munzir was charged with causing damage to the statues at the temple located in front of Angsana Mall shopping centre and being in possession of a machete at about 5pm on April 24.
On the charge of damaging the statues under Section 295 of the Penal Code, Fathi Munzir can be sentenced up to two years, a fine, or both, upon conviction, and for possessing the machete, the accused was charged under Section 6(1) of the Corrosive and Explosive Substances and Offensive Weapons Act 1958, which provides a maximum of 10 years’ jail and whipping, upon conviction.
On April 29, the Court ordered Fathi Munzir to undergo an examination and treatment for a month at the Bahagia Hospital.
The prosecution was conducted by deputy public prosecutor Fadhli Ab Wahab while the accused was represented by Tun Mohamad Ammar Aziz.