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Artificial intelligence use: Sabah judiciary makes history
Published on: Thursday, February 20, 2020
By: Jo Ann Mool
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KOTA KINABALU: Two men who pleaded guilty to having drugs became the first to be sentenced based on Artificial Intelligence (AI) analysis in the Magistrate’s Court, here, Wednesday.

Christopher Divingson Mainol, 26, and Denis P. Modili, 47, were informed by Magistrate Jessica Ombou Kakayun about the recommendation of sentence via AI.

Christopher admitted having 0.16gm syabu at 2pm on Oct 22, 2019 at Kg Cenderamata 2 in Likas while Denis confessed to having 0.01gm of syabu at 4pm on Dec 16, 2019 at Kg Kobusak.

They maintained their guilty plea after being told that the sentence was recommended by AI. Christopher was jailed nine months while Denis was handed 12 months.

In passing the sentence, Jessica said the court took into consideration, among others, the offence being a social problem in the State, the recommendation by the AI, the mitigating factors by their counsel and the prosecution.

Jessica said based on the AI analysis, the recommended sentence for Christopher was nine months while for Denis 10 months.

She applied the data sentence guideline by putting in information of both the accused into the system such as weight of the drugs, their age, citizenship, profession and whether it was their first offence.

The men were charged under 12 (2) of the Dangerous Drugs Act 1952 which provides for a fine of up to RM100,000 or up to five years jail or both on conviction.

Counsel Hamid Ismail, applied for Christopher be placed on a bond of a good behaviour and for Denis be handed a minimum jail as the amount of the drugs was very low. He later also opined that the use of AI in court sentencing was unconstitutional (see separate story).

The prosecution applied for a deterrent sentence, pointing out that Denis was currently serving eight months in default of the RM2,000 fine for taking syabu. The court ordered Denis to serve the sentences concurrently from the date of his arrest.

Earlier, two foreigners claimed trial to similar charge. Kassim Ibrahim was accused of having 3.71gm of syabu on Oct 27, 2019 at Kg Lokub in Manggatal while the other man, Wahid Ghazali allegedly having 2.90gm of syabu at Kg Sembulan Lama on Nov. 14, 2019.

The court set March 5 for pre-trial case management of both cases and ordered Kassim and Wahid remanded further as they were non citizens and has no documents.

Witnessing the implementation of AI were Chief Justice of Sabah Sarawak Tan Sri David Wong Dak and Chief Justice of Malaysia Tan Sri Tengku Maimun Tuan Mat and other judicial officers, deputy public prosecutors and lawyers.


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