Ex-top cop cites Christchurch shootings as reason to keep death penalty

Julia Chan
A police officer patrols outside Masjid Al Noor mosque after Friday’s mosque attacks in Christchurch March 16, 2019. — Reuters pic

KUALA LUMPUR, March 22 — Former inspector-general of police Tan Sri Musa Hassan cited the recent Christchurch mosque massacre as justification for the mandatory death penalty in Malaysia.

Musa claimed the shooter who killed 50 people and injured 50 more at two mosques dared to do so because New Zealand does not have the death penalty as a deterrent, Malaysiakini reported today.

“For example, in New Zealand, they dared to do what they did because they knew that killing will not be punished with the death penalty.

“Even if I kill someone, I will not be sentenced to death,” Musa was quoted as saying during a press conference organised by MCA in conjunction with its campaign against the government’s plan to abolish the death penalty.

The Pakatan Harapan government announced plans to abolish the death penalty last year. It recently said it would end the mandatory death sentence by revising the law to allow judges the discretion to do so.

On March 13, Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Mohamed Hanipa Maidin said the mandatory death penalty for 11 criminal offences was to be repealed and substituted with the death penalty imposed at the discretion of the court.

On March 15, Australian Brenton Tarrant livestreamed his attack on at least one mosque in Christchurch. He has been charged with murder and is currently under a month-long police detention.

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