In 2017, Sam Ke Ting drove into a group of teens on modified bicycles (basikal lajak) in Johor Baru which resulted in the deaths of eight teens.
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Sam Ke Ting, 28, is finally freed of a reckless driving charge linked to the death of 8 teen cyclists in Johor in 2017.
On 11 April 2023, a 3-judge panel unanimously decided that the charge against Sam was defective and thus allowed her appeal.
The Vibes reported that Justice Hadhariah Syed Ismail said there was confusion by the prosecution when the case was at the Magistrate’s Court.
According to Malay Mail, Sam said she is still haunted by the incident and apologised to the families of the victims.
The case, commonly known as the Basikal Lajak case, had captured the public’s interests with many differing views.
Here’s a timeline of events to explain what transpired since that day
18 February 2017 – Sam was driving home near Jalan Lingkaran Dalam, Johor Bahru, when she collided with a group of teenagers on modified bicycles (basikal lajak) around 3.20am. The area has limited visibility and dim lighting. The incident saw eight teens killed and injured eight others.
She was charged with one count of reckless or dangerous driving resulting in death. Upon conviction, she’ll face a six-year jail term and a fine of RM6,000.
Her driving license would be revoked for three years upon her release. She was not under the influence of alcohol or using her phone at the time and was deemed to have driven according to the speed limit.
28 October 2019 – Sam was freed by the Johor Baru Magistrate’s Court for reckless driving and causing the death of the teenagers without calling her to enter defence.
18 February 2021 – The prosecution won its appeal against the 2019 decision and the High Court ordered Sam to enter her defence.
May 2021 – Sam entered her defence, giving an unsworn statement from the dock.
October 2021 – The same magistrate during the first trial, Siti Hajar Ali again acquitted Sam as she deemed it unsafe to convict Sam as the prosecution had failed to prove its case beyond a reasonable doubt.
13 April 2022 – A second appeal by the prosecution took her to the High Court. High Court judge Abu Bakar allowed the prosecution’s appeal and convicted Sam of driving recklessly. She was sentenced to six years in jail and a RM6,000 fine.
18 April 2022 – She obtained leave from the Court of Appeal to appeal against her conviction and jail sentence.
By this time, public support for Sam mounted and a petition was made to free her. Some lawyers also offered their legal services pro-bono to Sam.
11 April 2023 – The Court of Appeal decided to set aside Sam’s conviction. The three-member panel led by COA judge Datuk Hadhariah Syed Ismail said in a unanimous decision that the charge was defective and illegal.
In this case, the charge is not correct. The conviction [based on a defective charge] is also incorrect. So both [are] not according to the law. [It] is the appellant’s right, under the law, to claim the charge must be correct, that the conviction must be correct. On this ground alone, the appellant’s appeal is allowed. The High Court decision dated April 13, 2022 on the conviction and sentence is set aside. The appellant is acquitted and released. You are now a free person.COA judge Datuk Hadhariah Syed Ismail
Hadhariah found that there was duplicity in the charge, as admitted by the prosecution on Tuesday’s hearing.
In the case of duplicity or overlap, two offences were lumped into one charge. This contravened Section 163 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CPC), which stated that each charge must have a specific charge.
Hadhariah also emphasized that according to the law, it cannot be said that just because there was a fatal accident, the driver is deemed “definitely liable.”
At the start of the case in 2017, Sam was 22 years old and she’s turning 28 years old this year.