HKSAR v. AHMED KHALIL

HCMA000219/1999

HCMA219/99

IN THE HIGH COURT OF THE

HONG KONG SPECIAL ADMINISTRATIVE REGION

COURT OF FIRST INSTANCE

(Appellate Jurisdiction)

MAGISTRACY APPEAL NO. 219 OF 1999

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BETWEEN
HKSAR Respondent
AND
AHMED KHALIL Appellant

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Coram : Hon Woo J in Court

Date of hearing : 31 March 1999

Date of delivery of judgment : 31 March 1999

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J U D G M E N T

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1. The Appellant pleaded guilty before a magistrate and was convicted of possession of a forged travel document, namely, a forged Malaysianpassport. He now appeals against sentence which was six months’ imprisonment.

2. The Magistrate, when passing sentence, took into account the case of R. v. Bhagwant Singh-Padda HCMA No 1447 of 1988 (11 January 1989, unreported) and adopted nine months’ imprisonment as the starting point. Given a reductionof one-third for the Appellant’s early plea and clear record, the sentence of six months’ imprisonment resulted.

3. In the case cited by the Magistrate, Bewley J considered various categories of travel document forgery cases and he said that therewas apparently no tariff sentence for this offence, and each case must be judged on its own merit. Four categories were set out :

“1. The passport forgery business, which is the most serious form of the offence.

2. Use of false passports by persons seeking to leave China via Hong Kong.

3. Repeated use of false passports by businessmen travelling in South East Asia.

4. Isolated use of a false passport by persons unconnected with Hong Kong or China.”

And he then said this :

” The last category, into which this appellant falls, seems to attract a lesser sentence than the other three. It is nonetheless aserious offence, meriting a prison sentence which will indicate that the Hong Kong courts are alive to the dangers of toleratingunauthorised use of travel documents in the present era of worldwide terrorism.”

4. I do not find the Magistrate’s decision on sentence either wrong in law or in principle, nor do I find the sentence of six months’imprisonment excessive. In the circumstances I would dismiss the appeal.

(K.H. Woo)
Judge of the Court of First Instance,
High Court

Representation:

Mr Paul K. Madigan, S.G.C. of DPP, for HKSAR

Appellant in person, present