The Malaysian Government has decided to abolish the death sentence and will halt all death penalties. International human rights bodies and foreign diplomats have hailed the decision. Among those who will benefit of this decision is also Ionut Gologan, the Romanian citizen who had been sentenced to death in a final ruling in Malaysia for drug trafficking in 2016.
A second Romanian citizens sentenced to death for the same charge, drug trafficking in June this year.
The law that stipulates the death penalty abolition will be debated in the Malaysian Parliament on Monday. “All death sentences will be stopped. For good,” said the Law minister Vui Keong, as quoted by Channel NewsAsia.
Over 1,200 people who are imprisoned in Malaysia are sentenced to death. Executions are by hanging. Most of the inmates have been convicted for crimes, kidnapping, drug trafficking or treason.
The Romanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced that it would continue actions in the case of the two Romanians sentenced to death, yet without mentioning which are these concrete actions.
“The Romanian Embassy to Kuala Lumpur is monitoring the evolution of the judicial procedures as a priority, and it is permanently consulting with the defenders and is attending the court hearings,” reads a MAE press release.
Ionut Alexandru Gologan was sentenced to death by the first court on October 16, 2013. In February 2015 his appeal was turned down by the Appeal Court in Putrajaya.
Gologan was born in Telega, Prahova County (north of Bucharest). The last time he visited his home was in the summer of 2012, one month before being arrested. According to the local mayor, Gologan then left for Germany, where it seems he was contacted by drug dealers. The mayor also said he had a broken home, being raised by his father and his grandmother after his mother had left Telega several years ago.
The young man worked as part-time driver. In his luggage, on June 26, 2012, at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport, were found 1,494 grams of methamphetamine.
In June 2018, the Ministry for Foreign Affairs (MAE) announced that the appeal was tried against a second Romanian in Malaysia accused of drug trafficking, the federal court confirming the capital punishment by a final decision, without giving further details on his identity.