KUALA LUMPUR: Five Universiti Malaya (UM) students, who were accused of trying to start a fire at the Islamic Studies Academy faculty hall, were acquitted and discharged by a Sessions Court here Friday.
The students were also freed of two other charges - committing criminal trespass at the same place and committing mischief by splashing petrol on the carpet and scribbling on the wall of the same main hall.
Mohamad Aizat Roslan, 21, Mohd Shazni Munir Mohd Ithnin, 22, Muhamad Saufi Jelani, 21, Mohamad Izzuddin Hilmi, 21, and Muhammad Syahrul Deen Ahmad Rosli, 21, were all smiles when the verdict was delivered at the court complex here.
Sessions Court judge Rozana Ali Yusoff acquitted the five accused as the prosecution failed to prove crucial elements in the case at the end of the prosecution stage.
For the criminal trespass charge, Rozana said the prosecution failed to prove that the five accused had a common intention to commit the offence.
"Nobody gave evidence that the five accused were at the scene," she said, before a packed court room.
The judge added that the prosecution also could not identify the flammable materials used during the alleged attempt to start a fire and had relied on circumstantial evidence.
When met by reporters, Mohd Shazni Munir, who is the chairman of Solidariti Mahasiswa Malaysia (SMM), said he was thankful to Allah and the court for delivering a fair ruling.
On Dec 8 last year, Mohamad Aizat, Mohd Shazni Munir and Muhamad Saufi were charged with trying to commit mischief by fire, knowing it could cause destruction to the main hall of the faculty, at 4am on June 24.
The trio faced a second charge of committing criminal trespass at the same place and time. They were also accused of committing mischief by splashing petrol on the carpet and scribbling on the wall of the same main hall that day.
Mohamad Izzuddin and Muhammad Syahrul Deen claimed trial to the same charges on June 30 last year.