Malaysian authorities have postponed the execution on Friday of a Filipino convicted of murder in Sabah, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said on Saturday.
The execution of Ejah Bin Jaafar was ordered postponed by Sabah Governor Tun Datuk Seri Panglima Haji Juhar Haji Mahiruddin following a last-minute appeal from the Philippine Embassy in Kuala Lumpur.
“We would like to thank the Governor of Sabah for responding to the repeated appeals of the Philippine Government on behalf of the family of Mr. Jaafar,” Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano said.
Charles Jose, the Philippines’ Ambassador to Malaysia, said Sabah’s governor decided to refer Jaafar’s case back to the Sabah Pardons Board, which he heads, for review.
Jose said the Embassy has been making appeals since 2015 for Malaysian authorities to spare Jaafar’s life and commute his sentence.
The DFA said the prison has already been informed of the Sabah governor’s decision.
The Sabah Pardons Board will meet in December to review Jaafar’s case and decide whether to reduce his sentence to life imprisonment or proceed with his execution.
The decision of the board will be final and executory without any further possibility of appeal, the DFA said.
Jaafar was found guilty by the Sandakan High Court of murder in September 2006 and was meted the death penalty in 2009.
The decision was affirmed by both the Court of Appeals on September 19, 2011 and the Federal Court on September 11, 2013.
The DFA said it extended legal assistance to Jaafar in all stages of the trial and the Embassy left no stone unturned to provide assistance to him, including regular prison visits. His family was also able to visit him through the assistance of the DFA.
“The Department stands ready to provide any further assistance to Ejah bin Jaafar and his family,” Cayetano said.
In January this year, Jakatia Pawa of Zamboanga del Norte was executed by hanging in Kuwait. Pawa was sentenced to death for stabbing her employer’s daughter.
There are 73 Filipinos facing execution in various countries. Most were convicted for murder and drug smuggling.