There are fresh hopes a Perth man facing a death sentence in Malaysia for alleged drug trafficking may be acquitted in the wake of evidence pointing to widespread corruption on the part of police involved in his arrest.
Dominic Bird was arrested in a police sting on March 1, 2012 at a cafe near his apartment in Kuala Lumpur as he allegedly handed over a package containing 167 grams of methamphetamine to an undercover police officer, who had been posing as a drug dealer.
The 32-year-old faces a mandatory death sentence if convicted.
But in a stunning twist, the police officer who arranged the deal with Bird was on Thursday accused of major corruption, including trafficking in drugs and bribing a fellow officer who was present when he threatened a witness in the case.
Lawyers for Bird told the Kuala Lumpur High Court on Thursday that they have uncovered evidence that Inspector Luther Nurjib had used the proceeds gained from shaking down other drug dealers to pay for a lavish lifestyle, including the purchase of two luxury apartments.
Bird's lawyer, Muhammad Shafee Abdullah, said there was also evidence that downpayments on two cars owned by Insp Nurjib had been made by drug traffickers with whom he was associated.
It was also revealed that Insp Nurjib had threatened his informant, who is a witness in the case, to keep quiet about their relationship and details of how the police officer had given him a sample of drugs allegedly obtained from Bird.
The meeting between Insp Nurjib and his informant, named Farizal, was witnessed by another police officer, the court was told.
Insp Nurjib had previously been ordered not to approach any witnesses or other people involved in the case.
"There was another officer there. He then took out RM400 and bribed him," Mr Shafee said.
"We have demolished his credibility from the fact that he has admitted he inappropriately took money from [Farizal], who is a trafficker."
"I have informed the court that as soon as this case is over, I will definitely write [to request] an investigation into his conduct so that he can be prosecuted."
Insp Nurjib has already admitted in court to having given Farizal a sample of drugs allegedly obtained from Bird weeks before his arrest.
He has also admitted using so-called "flash money" which he took from Farizal to allegedly obtain the sample of drugs from Bird.
"What he is in short admitting to is he has become a trafficker himself," Mr Shafee said.
Mr Shafee has also raised allegations of more widespread corruption within the Dang Wangi drug squad, where Insp Nurjib is assigned.
"It is not just this officer who is involved in improprieties and misconduct. It is in fact a whole contingent in that particular division of the police," he said.
The developments have raised fresh hopes that Bird's case could be thrown out of court.
"Here we are dealing with an officer who lied throughout his testimony," Mr Shafee said.
"He's a drug trafficker himself. His entire division is involved.
"At the prosecution level itself, we submit that there is no case to answer."
The trial continues.