23 Jan 2015 10:30am
DEATH SENTENCE FOR SA MAN IN MALAYSIA
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A South African man has been sentenced to death by the High Court in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, for drug-related charges, the international relations department said on Friday.
Deon Cornelius, 29, was arrested in Malaysia in October 2013.
Beeld newspaper reported that he was found with a laptop bag containing two kilograms of methamphetamine (Tik) at Penang airport. He told authorities he was given the bag by a person named Tony in Penang.
According to the newspaper, he told his family in October 2013 that he was going to Durban, before he disappeared.
The department said in a statement on Friday it could get involved in the case only once proceedings in the appeal court were finished.
"When a person is sentenced to death by the High Court in Malaysia, the case will be automatically be referred to the court of appeal," the department said in a statement.
"At the court of appeal, the case will be further considered to establish whether the high court was correct in its verdict, and the person would again appear before the judges with legal representatives."
The appeal would take between six and 12 months.
"It is only if the appeal court upholds the death sentence that the South African government will approach the Malaysian government with a request for clemency."
The South African High Commission in Kuala Lumpur would monitor the case.