RAPIST BOWLER: Lawyer tries to explain but the issue remains WHY NO JAIL!

RAPIST BOWLER: Lawyer tries to explain but the issue remains WHY NO JAIL!
A spate of angry comments greeted news that Noor Afizal Azizan, a national tenpin bowler, had regained his freedom following a verdict by the Court of Appeal on the charge that he had committed statutory rape three years ago.
The court granted his application to retain the Sessions Court’s ruling of bounding him five years on good behaviour and fine of RM25,000, for the charge of committing statutory rape on a 13-year old girl, considered minor under civil law, in June 2009.
Afizal, now 21, had pleaded guilty to the offence earlier. The Court of Appeal dismissed the Malacca High Court’s ruling to impose five year jail on Afizal citing public interest and Afizal’s promising future.
While ruling drew flak from all corners, many of the critics viewed the verdict as an acquittal for Afizal.
Issue is why NO jail
Lawyer Syahredzan Johan, who chairs the Constitutional Law Committee of the Malaysian Bar, however explained that from the point of law, the court did not acquit Afizal of the charge.
“(The) bowler pleaded guilty. He is convicted. No issue of whether he is guilty. He is not acquitted. Appeal to Court of Appeal was on sentence,” he explained on Twitter.
According to the outspoken lawyer, Afizal’s lawyers had asked for 'binding over', an option available at the court’s discretion, which is a bond of good behaviour, and this court granted to Afizal.
“[This] means, he is not jailed, but still guilty. (For) sentencing, (courts) look at aggravating, mitigating factors. Whether first time offence, family circumstances and yes, future can be as well,” Syahredzan added.
On the Court of Appeal’s decision, he said Afizal must be in good behaviour for the next five years or risked being arrested.
“Also, any time Court can call up to appear and receive judgment when called upon,” he said.

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